Russia this week laid the final steel beam on its section of the first cross-border railway bridge over the Amur River to China, meeting the Chinese section that was finished in October last year.
Billed as a boost for China-Russia trade, the some 2,200-metre-long bridge provides a faster link between the Chinese city of Tongjiang and Nizhneleninskoye in Russia’s Far East, over the river which is called the Heilongjiang in China.
Construction began on the Chinese side in 2014 after for than 25 years of negotiations.
It is the first fixed crossing between the two countries on this section of the border, and is expected to enhance the region’s economic development by ending reliance on ferries or lengthy round trips.
It is scheduled to open to road and rail traffic in July this year, said Russian broadcaster RT.Â
"On the morning of March 20, the last steel beam was built in, with Russia completing construction works from its part. This means the first railway bridge between the two countries is generally successfully connected," Heilongjiang province’s administration said in a statement.
"The shipping capacities between the two sides will be greatly enhanced as they will no longer be affected by seasonal weather conditions, which often have an impact on river shipping," said Li Huachao, a chief engineer of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co Ltd, which built the Chinese section.Â
Russia will use the bridge to export iron ore, coal, fertilizers, lumber, and other goods to China, said RT.
Image: The some 2,200-metre-long bridge connects the Chinese city of Tongjiang with Nizhneleninskoye in Russia’s Far East (Heilongjiang Province People’s Government)