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A8 shutdown causes traffic chaos

TRAFFIC in Xinzhuang, a busy hub in the city's southwest, was almost paralyzed this morning, the first working day after the A8, the Shanghai-Zhejiang Expressway, was closed for expansion.

The expressway's section between Xinzhuang and Xinqiao was closed over the weekend to be widened for the World Expo. It is the first time in the city's history that part of a major expressway has been completely closed for construction. The work will be finished by the end of this year.

This morning, nearly all major roads in Xinzhuang were congested, including the Humin Elevated Road, Zhongchun Road, Xinsong Road and Shuiqing Road. It resulted in a clogging of all traffic heading downtown.

The situation was worsened following an accident involving two cars on the Humin Elevated Highway near Lianhua Road.

Police dispatched more officers to the roads affected to guide traffic, according to Yin Jiangang, a traffic police officer.

Local commuters spent an extra 20 minutes on buses traveling to Xinzhuang Station to take the Metro Line 1. Some people grabbed taxis to take alternative routes to avoid the congested sections.

Though the passenger volume on Line 1 appeared normal, commuters expect an increase tomorrow with more drivers preferring to take the Metro downtown.


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