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March 14, 2012

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Major roads to ease traffic from suburbs to downtown

THE millions of residents in outlying towns can expect largely improved road links to urban circles as Shanghai plans to build 30 major arteries in the next three years to ease a shortage of fast roads between some suburban areas and downtown districts.

The plan is part of a government initiative to build 50 new roads citywide to boost daily traffic flow across districts, especially between the suburbs and downtown.

The local construction commission said yesterday that 20 such roads had already been completed and opened to traffic.

Twenty more will be constructed this year and the others are to be completed by 2015.

Residents living in the western suburban Jiading District near its border with downtown Putuo District were among the first batch to benefit from the new road scheme.

For years they complained about unsafe traffic conditions as they drove into Putuo District on their major route to travel downtown.

"There used to be no road at all but a muddy lane always flooded in the rain," said a local resident.

Now Taopu Road, which opened to traffic early this year, is 42 meters wide to facilitate cyclists and vehicles.

Of the 20 such new roads to be built this year, many will be located between Minhang and its neighboring districts as well as inside the vast Pudong New Area.

Billions of yuan will be spent on the new roads citywide, but a detailed investment budget has not yet been specified, construction commission officials said. In the Pudong New Area alone, the new roads are projected to cost about 9 billion yuan (US$1.42).


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