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November 30, 2009

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Ring road's Pudong leg finished

THE ground-level section of the Inner Ring Road in the Pudong New Area becomes more of an expressway today when it opens to cars and trucks - but not, any longer, to pedestrians, bicycles and motorbikes.

The newly renovated stretch, 8.3 kilometers between Pudong's Luoshan Road and Longyang Road, permits speeds of 80 kilometers per hour, up from the previous 40kph to 60kph.

Its opening marks the completion of the Inner Ring Road as a limited-access highway for all its 48 kilometers. The city's first elevated road system mainly covering downtown, the Inner Ring Road was completed in December 1994.

Although the road is elevated in Puxi, the section of Shanghai west of the Huangpu River, it goes to ground level soon after traffic crosses the bridges into Pudong.

Until now, pedestrians, bicycles and motorbikes were permitted to use the Pudong stretch of the road together with cars and trucks, causing concerns over traffic congestion and safety.

"Finally I can enjoy a more comfortable roadway coming home," said Lu Fei, a driver who lives in Pudong but works in Puxi,

The city began renovation on the Pudong section two years ago to make it as fast as the elevated road.

"Technically the elevated roads used to stop at the Pudong ends of both Nanpu Bridge and Yangpu Bridge," said Ding Hongqi, a Pudong traffic police officer.

Shanghai currently has three ring roads and 17 expressways.

Meanwhile, city traffic authorities over the weekend set up 12 new electronic toll lanes leading to Anhui Province.

Vehicles equipped with Electronic Toll Collection can pay the toll without stopping.


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