The Uzbekistan – Afghanistan Friendship bridge was opened in 1982 as a rail and road bridge between these two countries. It’s also sometimes called “Hairatan Bridge or Khayratan Bridge” because it is built across the Amu Darya river connecting the Uzbek city Termez with the Afghan city Hairatan.
Before building of this Friendship Bridge (sometimes called Freedom Bridge in US sources) there was a 3-4 km long wooden bridge across Amu Darya crossing these 2 countries. This one was built by Russian Tsarist army general M. Annenkov late 19th century. At this period Russia was running huge military expansion projects in Central Asia and was planning to stretch its territories to Afghanistan.
The bridge has been closed in 1997 and reopened in 2010 for extending the rail road towards Mazari Sharif which has been constructed in the same year and it has become the longest railway of all Afghanistan. The railroad is used for bringing wheat, rice, construction materials etc. to Afghanistan from Uzbekistan.
Facts about the Friendship Bridge connecting Uzbekistan and Afghanistan
Official Name – Khayratan (Hayratan, Hairatan) Bridge
Historical name – Friendship Bridge
Crosses the Amu Darya river
Length of the bridge – 816m
Opening - 1982