The first highway bridge connecting China and Russia across the Amur (Heilongjiang) River has recently passed the final acceptance test and is ready for opening, the authorities have said, according to Xinhua.
The maximum load capacity of the bridge reached 318 tons during the test, Chinese transport and engineering authorities have said, the news agency said.
Measuring 1,284 meters long and 14.5 meters wide, the bridge across the Amur River, known in Russia as the Heilongjiang River, stretches from Heihe, a border city in China’s Heilongjiang Province, to the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. The bridge is expected to open in April.
The ambitious $300-million construction project was started in December 2016 and the two parts of the massive cable-braced bridge were joined together at the end of May. A new milestone was reached in November, when local authorities announced the end of the construction works, paving the way for the opening.
“The bridge has a strategic importance for us. It is a very serious perspective for our region,” the governor of the Amur Region, Vasily Orlov, said during a special ceremony marking completion of the project.
The harsh weather conditions of the frigid region have been hampering cross-border trade for years, but the ambitious project is set to solve this problem. After the route becomes operational, cargo volume could see an 8-fold increase to 4 million tons, according to Alexander Kozlov, the Russian Minister for the Development of the Far East.