27 Apr 2022 11:44

Construction of Russian part of railroad bridge to China across Amur River finalized

BIROBIDZHAN. April 27 (Interfax) - The construction of the Russian part of the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang railroad bridge between Russia's Jewish Autonomous District and China has been completed, an Interfax correspondent reported from a ceremony, which marked the end of the construction project.

"You have my permission to begin," Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Presidential Representative to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev said, as he allowed the first train to be sent through the Russian part of the bridge.

Trutnev told reporters after the ceremony that the bridge would become fully operational in the near future.

"The event we are attending today is very important for the Far East: we are commissioning the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang Bridge, its Russian part. We have informed our Chinese colleagues that the Russian part of the bridge is ready. We will start preparing for the joint commissioning of the bridge in the near future. A disinfection facility is under construction on the Chinese side, and we will be open the entire bridge when this is done. The Foreign Ministry is negotiating [the full commissioning], and I spoke with [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov yesterday. He told me the proposal to open the whole bridge would be made within a month," Trutnev said.

The opening of the bridge is part of the greater effort to develop transport corridors in eastern Russia, he said.

"The development of economic relations with China and other Asia Pacific countries allows us to lay a foundation for stability and peace in this region, which is crucial nowadays," Trutnev said.

The railroad bridge across the Amur River will connect Nizhneleninskoye in Russia's Jewish Autonomous District to Tongjiang in the Heilongjiang province of China.

The construction began on both sides in 2008. The superstructure was connected in March 2019. The project costs over 9 billion rubles. Adjustments were made in the course of the project: the riverbed had to be deepened on the Russian side, and the coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the project.

The bridge has a length of 2,209 meters, including 309 meters on the Russian side. The overall length of the infrastructure on the Russian side is 5,272 meters (including 4,963 meters of access lines).

The bridge will be transporting iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers and timber. Cargo turnover will reach 20 million to 24 million tonnes in both directions once all facilities are commissioned.

According to the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, the bridge will cut the distance covered by products from Far East enterprises to consumers in China and Southeast Asia by 700 kilometers. The seasonal factor of river border crossings will lose its significance, which will boost the competitive edge of Far Eastern goods in Asia Pacific markets.