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China-Laos railway completes both cross-Mekong River bridges' beam installation

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-07-16 14:45
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An aerial view of Laos-China Railway's T-beam installation in Laos on April 26, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

VIENTIANE - The Laos-China Railway Co Ltd (LCRC), a joint venture based in Lao capital Vientiane in charge of the construction and operation of the railway, told Xinhua on Thursday that, all its beams of the two cross-Mekong River bridges have been installed.

With the last 24-meter prestressed T-beam steadily settling down on the piers of the Ban Ladhan Mekong River Super Major Bridge, some 230 km north of Lao capital Vientiane last Friday, the task of beam setting on both cross-Mekong River super major bridges along the China-Laos Railway, undertaken by China Railway No 8 Engineering Group (CREC-8) has been successfully completed.

The China-Laos Railway crosses the Mekong River twice to the north of the ancient Lao capital of Luang Prabang, some 230 km north of capital Vientiane.

The continuous beam of the Luang Prabang bridge was closed on July 28, 2019, while its T-beam installation was completed on April 23, 2020, and the Bang Ladhan Mekong bridge closed its continuous beam on April 1.

The Ban Ladhan Bridge, with 1,652 meters in length, has 45 spans connecting two platforms and 44 piers. All the main piers, with the highest up to 57.5 meters, are located in the middle of the Mekong River along the China-Laos Railway.

According to Zhang Jiahong, a project manager with CREC-8, the Ban Ladhan Bridge, with the highest pier and the longest span on China-Laos Railway, posed a great challenge to construction with high safety risks.

Zhang told Xinhua on Thursday that his team has overcome the hot weather, rainy season's thunderstorms and strong wind to do their job.

In order to ensure the high standard, high quality and high efficiency of construction, the project department has strictly implemented the construction requirements and COVID-19 precaution measures, said the Chinese engineer.

The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.

The over 400-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.

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