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January 27, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Two more tunnels set to open to ease downtown congestion

TWO new tunnels beneath the Huangpu River will open to traffic in the next few days, as the city seeks to reduce gridlock downtown.

The long-awaited Jungong Road Tunnel, connecting the city's northeast Yangpu District with the Pudong New Area across the Huangpu River, opens at 10pm tomorrow.

And next Tuesday, the Xizang Road S. Tunnel, linking downtown Huangpu District with Pudong will go into full-scale operation.

No motorbikes or scooters will be allowed inside the tunnels.

Opening the Jungong Road Tunnel will complete the Middle Ring Road circle around the city, with sections on both sides of the river joined together by the new tunnel in the north.

In the south of the city, Shangzhong Road Tunnel, which is already in service, links the Middle Ring Road across the river.

Motorists who are often caught in gridlock on the Yangpu Bridge and Xiangyin Road Tunnel, both busy cross-river arteries in the northeast of the city, can now expect some relief, said officials.

"We can't give an accurate measurement at this stage, but we believe that the new tunnel will greatly reduce vehicle pressure on the Yangpu Bridge and Xiangyin Road Tunnel," said Ge Weiqiang, a traffic police team official.

The tunnel starts at Jungong Road on its west end, between Zhoujiazui Road and Pingliang Road, emerging at Pudong's Jinqiao Road, near the intersection with Boshan Road E. The double-decker development includes eight lanes and a speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour.

But only four lanes will open at first, and speed will be kept down to 60kph.

As part of the general Middle Ring Road expansion and revamp, work is in progress near the Pudong end of the tunnel, restricting traffic.

Lane capacity in the Jungong Road Tunnel is being temporarily restricted to discourage too many motorists from using it while other work is ongoing, in a bid to avoid serious congestion.

The tunnel will open to its full capacity once the road expansion project in Pudong is complete, but the timetable is unclear, the constructor said.

The other new river passage, the Xizang Road S. Tunnel, will open at 10pm next Tuesday. The tunnel begins at the crossing between downtown Xizang Road S. and Zhongshan Road S. in Huangpu District, emerging in Pudong at Pudong Road S. and Gaoke Road W.

After completion last year, the four-lane tunnel was restricted to Expo shuttles and special task vehicles during Shanghai World Expo.


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