BEIJING – Chinese engineers have broken ground for constructing Asia’s most difficult rail bridge situated over 4,000 metres above sea level in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, the state media reported on Saturday.
Stretching over the Lhasa river that runs by the regional capital city, the bridge is a major project in the city and the Tibetan section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the chief engineer with the headquarters of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, Zhou Yousheng said.
With a total length of 918.55 meters and a main section of 108 meters, it is claimed to be the most difficult rail bridge to be build in Asia, Xinhua news agency quoted Zhou as saying in Lhasa.
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, Zhou said.
The bridge, to be built at a cost of 100 million yuan, about 12 million US dollars, is expected to be completed by 2005.
Construction of the 1,956-km-long Qinghai-Tibet railway was launched in June 2001. At an average altitude of over 4,000 meters, it is an imposing landmark project in China’s development of its vast western region.
When completed, the railway line would also be the world’s highest.