Bridges race

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The Blagoveshchensk–Heihe bridge shows better dynamics than the nizhneleninskoe–Tongjiang bridge.

According to reports of Amur officials, the project to create the Blagoveshchensk — Heihe bridge has reached the stage of practical implementation after 20 years of discussions. A concession agreement and a loan agreement providing for the allocation of funds by the Chinese Bank for the entire construction site have been initialed. In the dry end, the construction of the bridge will be financed from the budgets of the Amur region and the Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

The timing is optimistic. The project documentation is expected to be submitted for examination in the next few days, the conclusion is expected by June 15, and the approximate date for the start of construction is July 2016. If this goes on, it will be an impressive dynamic, especially against the background of the” suspended ” railway bridge in the neighboring Jewish Autonomous region, the Russian segment of which has already been solemnly started to build several times, but has not progressed beyond the first stone.

From a source associated with the organization of work on the construction of the bridge, The eastrussia correspondent learned that the development of project documentation for the project is currently quite successful. The bridge is designed with three navigable spans, which will have a construction of 140 meters in length with a height of 17 meters of supports. The project solutions were approved at public hearings in the Amur region and approved by the regional Government. And this is despite the fact that at the design stage it was necessary to harmoniously combine and comply with both Russian and Chinese construction standards, which is not an easy task for objects of such complexity.

In previous iterations, Dating back to the Russian-Chinese agreement on the construction of the bridge in 1995, the object was seen as a combined road and railway. To date, it has been decided to abandon the railway part. The Governor of the Amur region Alexander Kozlov designated this as the first stage:

“the First stage of the project involves the construction of a road bridge, the second — a railway bridge”,

— said Alexander Kozlov.

According to an EastRussia source, the project documentation takes into account the principal possibility of building a railway component in the future, but this part is not included in the project.

According to some experts interviewed by EastRussia, the rejection of the railway part of the bridge, although it reduces the cost of the project, but calls into question the economic feasibility of its implementation. Skeptics ‘ assumptions are based on the fact that Russian exports to China by road are practically not carried out, so there is a risk that traffic on the bridge will be mostly one — way-from China. From this point of view, according to the interlocutors of EastRussia, the bridge will not have a special exclusive — there are already automobile border crossings on the Amur, in winter on the ice, in summer by ferry — the only gain is in year-round availability and in the time it takes to cross.

At the same time, as EastRussia managed to find out, if hypothetically a combined automobile-railway configuration was implemented, no one would give guarantees of cargo flow either. So, according to the head of the Department of transport market development of the Institute of Economics and transport development Alexey Zamkov, there is no confidence in the possibility of making any significant volumes of rail traffic on the route Blagoveshchensk-Heihe.

“JSC Russian Railways currently has only conceptual statements from the government of the Amur region about the availability of a promising cargo base necessary for the effective implementation of the Blagoveshchensk — Heihe railway bridge construction project. To date, Russian Railways has not received any reasonable confirmation of the claimed cargo flows from cargo-owning companies”,

– Alexey Zamkovoy said.

According to the expert, the long-term strategic documents of the Ministry of transport of Russia and JSC “Russian Railways” do not provide for railway traffic on the route Blagoveshchensk — Heihe, although they focus on the intensification of railway cargo flows in Russian-Chinese transport and economic ties. At the same time, the existing railway border crossings Zabaikalsk — Manchuria, Grodekovo — Suifenhe and Makhalino — Hunchun have potential for development; significant prospects are associated with the construction of the nizhneleninskoe — Tongjiang railway bridge.

Vlad Verevkin
IA “East of Russia”

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