Russia’s Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities greenlighted opening the first car bridge between Russia and China, built across the border river of Amur, between the cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe, Ministry for the Development of Russian Far East told TASS.
The construction began in 2016 and was finished in December, 2019.
"The joint Russian-Chinese company was granted permission to open the bridge border crossing. […] This is the first car bridge between Russia and China. The official permission has been granted by the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities," the Ministry said.
However, the bridge will be open after the coronavirus-related restrictions are withdrawn.
"Were it not for the pandemic and the closed borders, the bridge crossing would have entered service [immediately] after the permission was obtained. But, because of the difficult epidemiological situation in the world, the bridge will be actually open only after all restrictions are withdrawn," the Ministry said.
Blagoveshchensk is the only district center in Russia, located directly on the state border; across the Amur River is the Chinese city of Heihe. The bridge is estimated to allow about 3 million people, 6 million tons of cargo or 300,000 vehicles cross the border every year. The bridge is over 1 km long, while the entire border crossing is 20 km long, including 6 km of road in China and 13 km of approaches in Russia.
The project cost is 18,8 billion rubles ($254,928,000 ). Thanks to a concession model, the project was implemented without involvement of state budget funds. The bridge expected to pay itself off in 16 years via road tolls.