High­way bridge to link China, Rus­sia

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HOU LIQIANG in Bei­jing and TIAN XUEFEI in Harbin

The first high­way bridge con­nect­ing China and Rus­sia over the Hei­long River is ex­pected to trig­ger a de­vel­op­ment boom in the cross-bor­der eco­nomic cor­ri­dor — with pos­i­tive ef­fects for Mon­go­lia, as well — as the flow of cargo and peo­ple in­creases.

A joint ven­ture com­pany will start con­struc­tion of the bridge on Satur­day, 28 years af­ter it was first pro­posed. The model may prove in­struc­tive for the con­struc­tion of other cross-bor­der in­fra­struc­ture, of­fi­cials said at a news con­fer­ence on Thurs­day.

The 19.9-kilo­me­ter bridge — about one-third of which is in China — stretches from Heihe, a bor­der town in Heilongjiang prov­ince, to the Rus­sian city of Blagoveshchensk.

At an es­ti­mated cost of 2.47 bil­lion yuan ($355.6 mil­lion), the bridge will open to traf­fic in Oc­to­ber 2019, ac­cord­ing to Pan Yang, a Hei­long jiang traf­fic depart­ment of­fi­cial.

Pan said his depart­ment or­ga­nized 33 rounds of talks with the Blagoveshchensk side af­ter 2013. An agree­ment for con­struc­tion of the bridge was signed in Septem­ber last year.

Rus­sian em­ploy­ees of the joint ven­ture com­pany have be­gun their work in China, and their Chi­nese col­leagues will also start their work in Rus­sia, said Tian Lin, head of the Hei­long jiang high­way con­struc­tion bureau.

The joint ven­ture com­pany will op­er­ate for a con­ces­sion pe­riod of 20 years, and toll fees col­lected will be used to pay back the con­struc­tion loan.

By 2020, the bridge is ex­pected to be trans­port­ing more than 3 mil­lion met­ric tons of cargo and 1.48 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally, of­fi­cials said at the news con­fer­ence.

Con­tact the writ­ers at houliqiang@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Length of the bridge bil­lion yuan

Es­ti­mated cost of build­ing the bridge

Artist’s con­cep­tion of the high­way bridge across the Hei­long River on China-Rus­sia bor­der.

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