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A8 closure causes congestion

TRAFFIC in Xinzhuang, a busy hub in the city's southwest, was almost paralyzed yesterday morning, the first working day after a major section of the A8, or the Shanghai-Zhejiang Expressway, was closed at the weekend.

The section between the Xinzhuang and Xinqiao overpasses is being widened for next year's 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.

Yesterday morning, nearly all major roads in Xinzhuang were congested, including the Humin Elevated Road, Zhongchun Road, Xinsong Road and Shuiqing Road.

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

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

Commuters from Xinzhuang complained they now had to spend an extra 20 minutes on a bus ride in order to reach Xinzhuang Station to take Metro Line 1 because of increased road congestion. Some people grabbed taxis to take alternative routes to avoid the congested sections.

Metro officials said Line 1 was able to cope with any increase in passengers if drivers who experienced yesterday's congestion decided not to take their cars on the journey to work today.

Several other expressways that are expected to be used as alternative routes reported less congestion compared to the roads around Xinzhuang area.

Dong Hui, an official with Shanghai Highway Administration, said rush-hour traffic on the A9, A4 and A11 yesterday morning was about the same as it had been the previous week.


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