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May 17, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Longest, widest tunnels to ease city traffic jams

Choking traffic jams troubling southern downtown's Xinzhuang area and some northern districts are expected to be greatly eased after two new tunnels across the Huangpu River open to traffic in 2014.

Digging for what will be the city's longest river vehicle passage, the 5.26-kilometer Hongmei Road S. Tunnel, began yesterday.

It will mainly benefit commuters and motorists suffering serious rush-hour congestion in the populous Xinzhuang area, said the project builder.

The other facility under construction, the Changjiang Road Tunnel, will also open in 2014 and become the widest tunnel under the Huangpu River.

The facility will share the enormous traffic load from the nearby Outer Ring Road, relieving congestion in the northern area of the city.

Officials confirmed yesterday that preparations are under way to fine tune blueprints for another two river tunnels, as tunnel construction is seen as a key to boost the city's overall traffic capacity.

One tunnel will start from downtown Zhoujiazui Road and extend to the Pudong New Area, and the other will become the cross-river section of the circular Suburban Ring Road.

The Hongmei Road S. Tunnel will help divert traffic building up on the Humin Elevated Road and the other major streets inside the Xinzhuang area.

Construction of the project will cost the local government 5 billion yuan (US$791 million).

Residents from the city's under-development Nanqiao New Town in coastal Fengxian District and on the other side of the project can expect a five-minute drive through the future 60kph tunnel to reach the Xinzhuang area.

The facility will greatly improve convenience for drivers between the booming suburban town and downtown Puxi.

The Changjiang Road Tunnel will allow the traffic watchdog to shut down the now largely overused Outer Ring Road Tunnel for a major renovation.

The aged tunnel is used by about 100,000 vehicles every day, 55 percent of them heavy container and cargo trucks because the tunnel links the city's two major logistics port zones on both sides of the river.

The turnover has largely surpassed the tunnel's designed limit and is accelerating its structural aging.

The much wider Changjiang Road Tunnel will carry a bigger capacity.


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