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River tunnels center of attention

IT will be a case of stop-go under the city's Huangpu River today when the eastern tube of the Xizang Road S. Tunnel opens to restricted traffic and the Dapu Road Tunnel is shut for renovations.

Construction was yesterday completed on the eastern tube of the Xizang Road S. Tunnel, the only tunnel linking the Shanghai World Expo sites on both sides of the Huangpu River, and today's service is regarded as a trial run.

Eight bus routes, taking a detour because of the Dapu Road Tunnel project, will provide a good test for the new tube, according to traffic police.

The Dapu Road Tunnel is expected to be closed for nearly seven months, while the western tube of the Xizang Road S. tunnel is earmarked for opening before the end of the year.

The Xizang Road tunnel will become a designated vehicle thoroughfare for Shanghai World Expo when it starts next May. Only vehicles authorized to enter Expo zones on both sides of the river will be allowed to use the tunnel during the event.

There are two main entrances, one on Puxi's Xizang Road S. and the other on Pudong's Gaoke Road W. The tunnel will also have three exit ramps for Expo sites.

During Expo, up to 60,000 to 70,000 visitors were expected to use the tunnel every hour, traffic authorities said.

The newly built river passage, 2.67 kilometers long, began construction on November 25, 2005.

It is located to the south of the Nanpu Bridge and to north of the Lupu Bridge.


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