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October 1, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

City traffic gains double break

DOWNTOWN drivers gained some relief from widespread construction yesterday.

The Metro builder has finished work on a new subway, meaning Huaihai Road and Changshu Road are back to full traffic capacity.

Shanghai Shentong Group, the builder, said the two core CBD roads, housing many office complexes, could now expect largely smooth traffic as it had freed all previously blocked-off thoroughfares by yesterday morning following completion of ground-level construction on the future Line 7.

As complaints mount about congested and inconvenienced traffic due to citywide infrastructure constructions in the lead-up to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Metro management said it was streamlining subway building.

For the rest of this year, more major CBD roads affected by subway projects will resume full traffic capacity as Metro constructions are completed, according to Shentong.

They include Hongqiao, Zhaojiabang, Caoyang, Jiangsu, Henan and Dong'an roads.

"These roads should mostly recover their original capacity and this should help ease downtown traffic," said Wu Xinyi, a Shentong spokesman.

By yesterday, about 35 percent of roadways blocked for Metro constructions had reopened to traffic, Metro management said.

The city plans to have eight under-construction Metro projects open to commuters before the Expo starts next May.

Construction on 72 stations is still keeping 500,000 square meters of downtown roadways temporarily closed.

Despite all the efforts to ease road conditions, the city may see traffic snarls peak this month as a number of new infrastructure projects in preparation for the Expo are due to start.

One of the biggest tasks is the demolition of Wusong Road Bridge.

The vital vehicle overpass across Suzhou Creek, on the Bund, will be fully closed to traffic later this month to be replaced by the Bund underground vehicle tunnel.

"In the short term, the bridge loss may cause greater congestion to the central downtown area," said a construction commission official.


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