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January 1, 2010

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Construction keeps on going right to the end of the year

CITY construction workers had a busy end to their year yesterday with one new expressway opened, tunneling work beneath an airport completed and the start of a new tunnel under the river.

The city's longest express-way, Shanghai-Jiaxing-Huzhou, or S32, opened at 9pm, giving drivers a shortcut from Pudong International Airport to neighboring Zhejiang Province.

"It will make it easier for both foreigners and people outside the city to visit Shanghai during the 2010 World Expo," said Huang Guobing, a manager with builder the Shanghai Expressway Investment Construction and Development Co.

The 83.5-kilometer expressway starts from the Pudong airport and runs through the Pudong New Area as well as Minhang, Songjiang, Qingpu and Jinshan districts.

Drivers are expected to save half an hour traveling from Zhejiang's Huzhou to the airport. The journey used to take one and a half hours.

The builder said one of the highlights of the expressway is its double-deck bridge. The Minpu Bridge links Minhang District to the Pudong New Area.

Traffic flow at the city's other airport will also be easier by next March with the completion of an underground passage.

At Hongqiao International Airport, where a new terminal and a runway are due to open soon, drivers will save almost half an hour traveling from the airport's west side to its east via a tunnel.

The tunnel, built by the Shanghai Urban Construction Group, saw digging on its two tubes finished yesterday. One tube will open to traffic in March and the other will be ready by June.

It takes about 35 minutes to drive from the airport's east terminal to the new west terminal. The tunnel will cut that time to five minutes.

The tunnel, part of the Hongqiao Transport Hub project, will also provide a fast route from Changning District to Minhang.

Meanwhile, a new tunnel below the Huangpu River began construction yesterday, to link suburban Fengxian to Minhang District.

The 5,260-meter tunnel will start from Minhang's Hongmei Road N. and connect with Jinhai Road in Fengxian.

Students in universities in Minhang and commuters working in the two districts will benefit from the new route.

The tunnel may also relieve traffic pressure in nearby areas, such as the S4 Expressway and the elevated roads around Minhang's Xinzhuang area, officials said.


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