New Russia-China Amur River Road Freight & Passenger Bridge Opens

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Traffic cargo volumes expected to reach 4 million tonnes and 2 million passengers per annum.

Freight traffic has begun to use the first road bridge across the Amur River, connecting Russia’s Blagoveshchensk and China’s Heihe. The bridge opened to trucks on Friday (June 10).

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev said “In today’s fragmented world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China has a special, symbolic meaning. It will become a yet another line of friendship, connecting the peoples of Russia and China. The construction began in 2016, with thousands of people from both China and Russia taking part and working 24/7.”

Freight trucks cross the bridge at the Kani-Kurgan – Heihe border checkpoint, with up to 600 trucks able to pass over the bridge and complete customs formalities daily. Digital crossing points will be able to support movement of up to 4 million tonnes of cargo, and 2 million passengers annually, although at present just cargo traffic will be permitted at the initial operational stage.

Blagoveshchensk is in Russia’s south-east and in Amur Oblast (Province). It is connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway running west to Moscow and east to Vladivostok, and has a regional airport. The city has a large Chinese expatriate community and forms together with Heihe a cross-border free trade zone where goods may be worked on for export to each others markets.

Heihe is in China’s northern Heilongjiang Province and is connected via rail to Harbin, where it links to China’s national rail network. It is also on China National Highway 202, which runs from Heihe to Harbin, and on to Dalian, Jilin City and Shenyang. Heihe also has an airport while river traffic is also used along the Amur, capable of using vessels up to gross tonnage of 100,000 tonnes and a draught of 9 meters, more than enough to use river transport. The Amur River runs for 2,824km and can service many communities along both the Chinese and Russian sides. Freezing over during the winter, the Amr is crossed between the two cities by hovercraft, and navigated by container ships with icebreaking hulls. The River flows east and eventually empties into the Pacific Ocean near Sakhalin Island, close to Japan.

Blagoveshchensk and Heihe are also soon to be connected by a cable car system.

The Amur River freight bridge is expected to be a significant contributor to Russia-China bilateral trade and is an important component part of the other huge Russia-China infrastructure projects which include a huge potential expansion of Russia’s Far Eastern Railways and the Meridian Highway. Another Amur River Bridge is also soon to open further downstream between Nizhneleninskoye and Tongjiang as long-planned infrastructure between Russia and China begins to come into operational use. Both Amur River Bridge projects had been delayed for two years due to covid issues. Opportunities exist for both Russian manufacturers and exporters looking at the Chinese market and vice versa. Russian readers may contact us at china@dezshira.com for assistance with evaluations and planning.

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