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Record city budget announced

THE local government will spend 155 billion yuan (US$22.6 billion) this year on expanding the Metro, making improvements to the road network, improving air and water quality and other major infrastructure projects.

"The city is now making unprecedented investments in its infrastructure projects and the scale of construction citywide will hit a peak this year as we come up to the World Expo," Vice Mayor Shen Jun said yesterday.

The government's plans include facilities and roads for the World Expo, building more economical residential complexes and upgrading facilities at public hospitals.

The latest budget is a record for the city. Last year, total investment was 139.8 billion yuan, officials said.

Shen said: "It's time for a final spurt" for the World Expo. He called on related departments and companies to step up the pace of their projects.

Up to 86 major infrastructure programs will start this year including the sixth phase of Waigaoqiao Port, a cross-river highway between Shanghai's Chongming Island and Qidong City in Jiangsu Province and the Changjiang Road W. vehicle tunnel under the Huangpu River.

Nearly 60 of the projects will be closely related to the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, said Huang Rong, director of the Shanghai Urban and Rural Construction and Transportation Commission, yesterday.


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