Amur Bridge Project

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The Amur Bridge Project is an international Sino-Russian railroad bridge under construction. The bridge will link Nizhneleninskoye (in Russian: Нижнеленинское) in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast with Tongjiang (in Chinese: 同江) in Heilongjiang Province. The cross-border railroad bridge will be 2.2 km long, but its corresponding track infrastructure will be 19.9 km long and is projected to cost $355 million.[1] The bridge was expected to open in summer 2018, to transport more than 3 million metric tons of cargo and 1.5 million passengers per year.[2] The half on the Chinese side is complete but the Russian section is still awaiting action.[3]

Along with this railroad bridge, China and Russia agreed to construct a 2-lane highway bridge over the Amur to link the "twin" trading cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe. Ceremonial ground-breaking for this bridge has held on 24 December 2016, and is expected to open in October 2019. The highway bridge will run east-west over the Amur, below the confluence of the Zeya River. On the Chinese side the main bridge works are going up in Changfa village on the southeast side of Heihe, according to a 17 August 2017 news report in Global Times.

Projected uses[edit]

A major use of the bridge will be to transport iron ore from the Kimkan open-pit mine in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast that is owned by IRC Limited, which is partly owned by Petropavlovsk plc.[4][5] Petropavlovsk plc will participate in financing the bridge construction.[4]

History[edit]

The bridge was first proposed in 2007 by Valery Solomonovich Gurevich, the vice-chairman of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.[6] Gurevich said that the proposal to construct a bridge across the river was first suggested by the Russian side, in view of growing cargo transportation demands.

In 2013, the transport ministries of Russia and China had signed a general construction agreement.[7] During President Putin's visit to China in May 2014, another agreement about the construction of the bridge was signed by the Russian and Chinese officials.[8] In September 2014, Russia and China founded a joint company which will control the process of building the bridge.[9]

In November 2014, the local Russian media reported that a significant amount of the construction work had been carried out on the Chinese part of the bridge, but hardly anything has been done on the Russian part.[10]

By July 2016, the Chinese portion of the bridge was finished but work had not started on the much shorter Russian portion.[11]

In December 2016, work began on the Russian portion of the bridge.[1]

Design[edit]

The bridge has been designed by Russia's Giprostroymost institute, satisfying both Russian and Chinese standards. The main structure over the Amur River runs north-south and will consist of twenty (20) 110-meter steel through-truss spans. The bridge will have both a standard gauge (1435 mm) track and a Russian gauge (1520 mm) track; however, the two tracks will be offset by merely 800 mm, so that only one track could be used at any given time.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Russia, China launch construction of bridge across Amur river". Russia Today. December 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Work Starts On First China-Russia Highway Bridge". Radio Free Europe. December 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/09/15/the-realities-of-life-in-russias-far-east
  4. ^ a b ANDREW E. KRAMER (June 9, 2010), "China's Hunger Fuels Exports in Remote Russia", The New York Times 
  5. ^ "UPDATE 2-Shares of Petropavlovsk's IRC slump in Hong Kong debut". Reuters. Oct 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "China-Russia Trade to Top US$40b". China Daily. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  7. ^ "Строительство первого железнодорожного моста соединяющего Китай и Россию начнется в 2009 году" (Construction of the first railway bridge connecting Russia and China will start in 2009) China.org.cn, 2008-11-27. (in Russian)
  8. ^ Мост через Амур между РФ и КНР начнут строить в ближайшие месяцы (Construction of the bridge across the Amur between the RF and the PRC will start within a few months), 2014-05-20
  9. ^ "Russia and China establish company to build a bridge across Amur River" (Press release). TASS. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-02. 
  10. ^ Далеко в отрыв ушли от коллег из ЕАО китайские строители ж/д моста Нижнеленинское-Тунцзян (The Chinese builders of the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang railway bridge are far ahead of their colleagues from the Jewish A.O.), 2014-11-05
  11. ^ Andrew Higgins (July 16, 2016). "An Unfinished Bridge, and Partnership, Between Russia and China". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  12. ^ Construction of 2·2 km Amur bridge begins, 14 Mar 2014

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 47°57′N 132°40′E / 47.95°N 132.66°E / 47.95; 132.66