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City eyes 3 more tunnel projects

SHANGHAI'S tunnel-digging machines may not get a break even after they've finished completing the infrastructure to support next year's World Expo.

City authorities are now discussing plans for three additional cross-river tunnel projects to handle future traffic needs as Shanghai advances the development of its shipping industry.

Urban planners said yesterday that they've launched feasibility studies on two new tunnels under the Huangpu River as well as an expansion project to improve capacity of the existing Xiangyin Road Tunnel. All three would link northern Pudong with northern Puxi districts including Yangpu and Hongkou and also serve Baoshan.

Port support

The new tunnels may connect Zhoujiazui Road in Hongkou District and Pudong's Wuzhou Avenue, and Nenjiang Road in Yangpu District and Zhouhai Road in Pudong.

Routes through these areas would help support the city's port logistics in nearby Baoshan District, which houses a large number of container and freight docks, while the North Bund area, in Hongkou District, is turning into an integrated service center.

Cross-river traffic in the city's north relies largely on the Xiangyin Road Tunnel, which is heavily congested and would benefit from expansion. Traffic in the tunnel has soared from the nearly 6,000 vehicles a day in January 2006 when it opened to 80,600 at present.

When the Yangtze-River Tunnel-Bridge Project opens to traffic next year, Pudong will be connected by a fast motorway to the city's Changxing and Chongming islands, which also house container docks and port machinery factories.

The project should generate increased demand for cross-river access between Pudong and the northern downtown areas.

Shanghai now has five Huangpu River vehicle tunnels in service and eight under construction.


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