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China's New Highway-railway Bridge Sets World Records

The middle section of China's longest road and rail bridge is now complete. The Tianxingzhou Bridge, with it's combined four railroad tracks and six traffic lanes, crosses the Yangtze River in Wuhan, capital of the central Hubei Province.

As the world's first bridge with four rail lines, the main span over water extends 504 meters, surpassing the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, said general designer Gao Zongquan.

Built at a cost of 11 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion), the 4,657-meter cable suspension bridge will open to traffic in the first half of next year after the completion of road surfacing and laying rail tracks.

Tianxingzhou Bridge has a designed load capacity of 20,000 tons, holding more weight than any other rail-road bridge in the world. Trains can pass over it at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, said Gao.

The bridge will be a key part of China's major rail transport network and will make Wuhan a leading railway transport hub following Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Wuhan is the largest industrial city on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2008)

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