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16 Dec, 2019 08:53

First railway bridge connecting Russia & China promises to boost trade to new highs

First railway bridge connecting Russia & China promises to boost trade to new highs

The construction of the long-awaited railway bridge between Russia and China will be finished by the end of next year, according to Russian presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, Yury Trutnev.

Work on the bridge was initially scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2020, but due to difficulties the initial project had to be redesigned.

“We’ll have to start a new project, because the river where our (Russian) side of the bridge is being built, and pillars already installed, is much deeper than what they were designed for. The project objectively needs to be changed,” Trutnev told journalists on Monday.

He added that the changes to the project are planned to be made without attracting additional federal budget funds.

Also on rt.com Russia & China complete their first cross-border mega highway bridge (VIDEO)

The 2,209-meter-long (1.4 mile) structure linking Russia’s Far East with China’s northernmost Heilongjiang province is expected to take bilateral trade to new highs. The project aims to develop an international corridor connecting China's northeastern railway networks with Russia’s Siberian railway networks, according to Li Huachao, a chief engineer of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group.

The highway section of the bridge over the Amur river was completed last month. Cargo volume is expected to see an eight-fold increase to four million tons when the route becomes operational.

READ MORE: Another year, another record: Russia & China project trade to hit $110bn this year

“The bridge has a strategic importance for us. It is very promising for our region,” said the governor of Russia’s Amur Region Vasily Orlov during the official ceremony marking the highway section’s completion.

The agreement on the ambitious $300-million construction project was reached in 2013, following 28 years of negotiations between the two countries. Construction works officially started in 2016. Russia plans to export iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers, lumber and other goods to China via the link.

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