Construction of the sole cross-border railway bridge between China and Russia is expected to begin in late January next year, a project director said Thursday.
Wang Jin, director for the construction of the bridge, told Xinhua that the Russian side proposed that the construction should start in late January 2011, when the ice in the river is least one meter thick.
The two sides are preparing based upon the agenda and a team of over 20 workers have been dispatched to the sites by the Harbin Railway Bureau, Wang said.
The 3,000-meter Tongjiang railway bridge will link Tongjiang port in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Russia's Leninskoye in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast and railway networks of the two countries will be connected upon its completion.
China will invest an estimated 2.026 billion yuan (about 300 million U.S. dollars) in the railway bridge, which has a cargo transport capacity of 21 million tonnes per year.
China and Russia signed the agreement on jointly building the railway bridge in October 2008.
It will become the third railway that links China and Russia. The other two railways go through Suifenhe on the east border of Heilongjiang Province and Manzhouli on the border of northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Construction of the railway bridge is part of the effort by Heilongjiang government in pushing for trade with Russia.
In the first three quarters of the year, the import and export value of Heilongjiang Province rose 53.9 percent year-on-year to hit a record high of 18.42 billion dollars, latest statistics from the local government showed.