Azerbaijani and Iranian transport officials on Wednesday laid foundation stone for a railway bridge over Astara river in Azerbaijan.
Astara, a small town where the bridge is designed to be built, is approximately 313 kilometers south of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and adjacent to the border with Iran.
The 82.5-meter and three-span bridge will have four piers and two railway tracks.
The railroad bridge is a strategically important facility that connects the railways of Azerbaijan and Iran as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor. The construction of the bridge is planned to be completed by late 2016.
In accordance with an agreement signed by Azerbaijan and Iran, the border bridge will be built jointly.
The International North-South Transport Corridor, a route for combining freight transport by ship, rail, and road, will help increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku upon completion.
The project launched Wednesday, named as Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway, is a part of the North-South transport corridor. The investment for the construction is estimated at 400 million U.S. dollars.
The railway bridge has an initial capacity to transport 6 million metric tons of cargo annually, with an aim to gradually increase its capacity to up to 20 million metric tons.