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November 28, 2012

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Skip stop at some toll booths for holiday

SHANGHAI traffic authorities said they will help keep traffic moving during next year's Spring Festival with measures such as designating lanes for small vehicles that won't have to stop at some toll stations.

Guide signs and maps also would be improved.

Traffic volume is expected to jump as drivers of smaller vehicles will again benefit from a free-toll policy during the festival, said road officials. The policy got its first test over China's National Day holidays during the first week in October.

At some key toll spots where a large vehicle volume is anticipated, smaller vehicles will be allowed to pass without stopping for toll cards. At other spots, the eligible vehicles would stop to take and turn in toll cards, without having to pay.

Small vehicles also would be separated from lines with trucks and large vehicles, which still must pay tolls.

During the Spring Festival holiday this year, about 300,000 vehicles used the Shanghai expressways each day.

Unlike the October holiday, when tourism is a major motive for travelers, the Spring Festival is the time for many in cities to go back to their hometowns for family reunions.

Tens of millions will take to the roads. Traffic officials suggest drivers plan the routes ahead to avoid congestion as much as possible.

Local road authorities said a new bridge, spanning Suzhou Creek, will be finished and open to traffic next month, providing a better connection with downtown. The Jiangning Road Bridge will be wider than the old bridge, which was torn down, the builders said.


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