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Rail bridge connecting Russia, China completed

By Clyde Hughes
Rail bridge connecting Russia, China completed
The Chinese city of Heihe is seen beyond the Amur River from the Russian city Blagoveshchensk in 2017. Russia announced the completion of a rail bridge from Nizhneleninskoye, Russia, and Tongjiang, China -- the first of its kind between the two countries. File Photo by Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE

March 21 (UPI) -- A rail bridge connecting Russia with China over the Amur River has been completed, Russian media reported Thursday.

The 7,218-foot bridge connects Nizhneleninskoye, Russia and Tongjiang, China and is expected to move some 21 million tons of goods between the two countries when it officially opens later this year. Iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers and lumber are some of the products that will be moved across the bridge.

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"This means that the first railway bridge between the countries has been successfully connected," the Chinese Heilongjiang administration said, according to the RBC news website.

Construction crews started working on the final deck for the $300 million railroad bridge in February. Construction of the bridge had been going on since 2014, and China finished its half in October.

"After the railway bridge is put into operation, we can import all through the year, and this is also expected to reduce transportation costs by ($14.50) per cubic meter of timber," Xu Zhaojun, owner of a timber importer in Tongjiang, said in October, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

China became the largest trading partner and source of foreign investment for the Russian Far East region. Song Kui, president of the Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economy Research Institute in Heilongjiang, said the new bridge would further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.

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