First China-Russia Railway Bridge by 2016

To improve the Sino-Russian border trade route, work on a major infrastructure project – the building of a long-planned railway bridge over the Amur river- has been accelerated, Chinese local media reports said.

The $431 million project is the first railway bridge to cross a river linking China with Russia.

The Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye Railway Bridge, which crosses the Heilongjiang River known as Amur in Russia, is slated for completion by the end of 2016, according to Heilongjiang Daily.

The 2,215-meter bridge will link Tongjiang city in Heilongjiang Province with Nizhneleninskoye in Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

1900 meters will be within China’s borders.

China plans to invest 2.64 billion yuan ($431 million) in the project through the RCIF [Russia-China Investment Fund], including the construction of the main bridge and an approach road.

The project was given a go-ahead following Russian President Putin’s visit to Shanghai last year.

The bridge will be able to handle 21 million tons of traffic a year.

The new export corridor will make it easier to transport oil and gas from the new fields developed in Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

It will also significantly increase the turnover of goods and competitiveness of Russian exporters in the region. The new route will reduce the distance to the end customer by about 700 kilometers compared to other rail routes.

Heilongjiang accounts for about a quarter of China’s total trade with Russia.

Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province is planning to increase investment in Russia by $1 billion by the end of 2015, and $2 billion by 2020.

The Chinese province, which borders Russia, plans to boost its trade volume to $26 billion by 2015, and $52 billion by 2020.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said, in Moscow last year, that Beijing will advance the establishment of a Eurasian high-speed transport corridor linking Beijing and Moscow, adding that the current priority should be the high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan.