Watch: Norway's second largest bridge built by China to cement Belt and Road Initiative

Reuters
Norway Published: Dec 10, 2018, 01:20 PM(IST)

Norway's second largest bridge built by Chinese firm opens to traffic Photograph:( Reuters )

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With a total length of 1,533 meters and a free span of 1,145 meters, the Halogaland Bridge near Norway's northern port city of Narvik is the longest suspension bridge within the Arctic Circle.

A ceremony was held on Sunday to officially open Norway's second largest bridge which has been built by a Chinese company and its partners and is located some 220 kilometres inside the Arctic Circle.

With a total length of 1,533 meters and a free span of 1,145 meters, the Halogaland Bridge near Norway's northern port city of Narvik is the longest suspension bridge within the Arctic Circle.

China's Sichuan Road and Bridge Group (SRBG) delivered the steel constructions and was responsible for the mounting of the bridge, which contributes to a significant shortcut on the European route E6 -- the main north-south road through Norway and the west coast of Sweden.

Despite the extreme cold temperatures, local people came out in droves to witness the opening of the bridge.

"We have been waiting for this bridge for many years and now is the day. So we are very happy and very lucky to get this bridge," said Floda Nicolaisen, a local resident.

"I think it's been great to see Chinese participation in this project. When we see the bridge now, it really shows a beautiful bridge that is very important in the local community," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters at the inauguration ceremony on the Halogaland Bridge over the Rombaken fjord.

The Chinese Ambassador to Norway Wang Min, who was also present at the ceremony, said the bridge has shown Chinese companies' efforts to carry out the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I say this bridge is a great event in the relationship between China and Norway, and an important practice of the two’s joint efforts to build the Belt and Road Initiative. It is an important result of the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Norway and will set an important example of our bilateral economic and trade cooperation, especially when it comes to Chinese companies in Norway. It is of great importance for China and Norway to further the Belt and Road and share mutually beneficial cooperation in the future," he said.

In 2013, SRBG won the steel contract for the bridge in a tough competition with some of the world's other leading building firms.

The steel contract includes the preproduction of all the parts - cables and steel boxes and on-site construction. The production of the steel parts was carried out in four different factories in China.

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