Russia has wrapped up construction of its first rail bridge to China, connecting the two countries across the Amur River, UPI reported on Thursday.
Construction of the 2 bridge between Nizhneleninskoye in Russia and Tongjiang city in China began in 2014, underscoring Russia’s Eastern pivot amid deteriorating ties with the West. China completed construction of its section across what it calls the Heilongjiang River in October 2018.
Russia has installed the final steel beam into its section of the bridge, China’s Heilongjiang administration website was quoted by RBC as saying.
“This means that the first railway bridge between the countries has been successfully connected,” the administration said.
Construction work is expected to wrap up in full this July, the project’s chief engineer was quoted as saying.
The bridge is expected to serve as an international goods transportation channel with an annual shipment volume of 21 million tons when it opens later in 2019.
The 7,218-foot bridge connects Nizhneleninskoye, Russia and Tongjiang, China and is expected to move some 21 million tons of goods between the two countries when it officially opens later this year. Iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers and lumber are some of the products that will be moved across the bridge.
“After the railway bridge is put into operation, we can import all through the year, and this is also expected to reduce transportation costs by ($14.50) per cubic meter of timber,” Xu Zhaojun, owner of a timber importer in Tongjiang, said in October, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.