Construction of railway bridge in China's largest desert to be completed

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The construction of an 8.6-km railway bridge in the Taklimakan Desert, China's largest desert, will be completed by the end of this month, according to its builders.

The Yimlakut Bridge is the longest of the Hotan-Ruoqiang Railway's five bridges built over sand, which in total account for 53.7 km of the 825-km railway that passes through the southern region of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The bridge covers a section of the Taklimakan Desert where sand dunes move an average of 20 meters each year, said Zhang Gang, a project manager with the China Railway 14th Bureau Group Co., Ltd., which oversees the railway's construction.

The bridge allows sand to be blown underneath it so that trains and tracks are less impacted by sand storms, said Zhang.

Track-laying work for the Hotan-Ruoqiang Railway began in May and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Its completion will usher in a new era for five counties located along the line that previously lacked rail connectivity. 

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