The two parts of the long-awaited railway bridge linking Russia and China across the Amur River, will be connected on March 20-23, according to the project’s chief engineer Li Huachao.
The 2,209-meter-long (1.4 miles) structure will link Russia’s Far East with China’s northernmost Heilongjiang province. The Nizhneleninskoe (Jewish Autonomous Region) to Tongjiang (Heilongjiang province) bridge will become the first railway bridge between the two countries. China has already completed the construction of its part.A
“It is expected that Russia will complete the installation of the last steel beam with a length of 132 meters on March 20-23, which will officially mark the linkage of the two sides of the bridge,” said the engineer.
He added that full completion of the cross-border bridge (railway and highway parts) is scheduled for July. It is expected to be commissioned in 2019.
Russia plans to export iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers, lumber, and other goods via the link to China. Construction of the cross-border bridge officially started in 2016, following 28 years of negotiations between the two countries.
The new bridge and its corresponding infrastructure will cost more than $300 million and will be 20km (12.5 miles) long. Some 6.5km (4 miles) of the bridge and road junctions will lie in China, and the remaining 13.5km (8.5 miles) in Russia, according to China’s CNS agency. The length of the main suspension bridge will be roughly 1,300 meters (0.8 miles) and its width 14.5 meters.
The highway section of the bridge will be ready for traffic this year. Traffic capacity is expected to exceed three million tons of cargo and be used by 1.48 million people a year by 2020. It will greatly facilitate trade between the two countries, since the route will be roughly 3,500km (2,175 miles) shorter.