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China: Rail Bridge Begins Construction in Tibetan Capital

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 03/05/13; May 13, 2003.]

(Xinhua) (Xinhua is the official news agency of the Communist party of China) (New China News Agency)

Lhasa, 9 May: A large railway bridge began construction on Friday [9 May] during an unseasonable snowfall in Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Stretching over the Lhasa River that runs by the regional capital city, the bridge is a major project in Lhasa and the Tibetan section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, according to Zhou Yousheng, chief engineer with the headquarters of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

With a total length of 918.55 metres and a main section of 108 metres, it is claimed to be the most difficult rail bridge to build in Asia.

Coloured entirely in white, like a "Hada", a piece of silk given as a greeting gift among Tibetans, the bridge will vault over the river and face the magnificent golden Potala Palace, said Zhou.

The bridge, to be built at a cost of 100m yuan (about 12m US dollars) by the China Rail Bridge Engineering Group, is expected to be completed by 2005.

Construction of the 1,956-km-long Qinghai-Tibet railway was launched in June of 2001. At an average altitude of over 4,000 metres, it is an imposing landmark project in China's development of its vast western region.

Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 1315 gmt 9 May 03


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