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China begins expressway construction linking Wenchuan and Yingxiu

CHINA has begun building an expressway that would link two places worst hit by last May earthquake in southwestern Sichuan Province -- Wenchuan County and Yingxiu Township.

The 52-kilometer expressway, which will allow motor vehicles to run at 80 kilometers per hour, will have two lanes in each direction. Construction of the project began yesterday and is scheduled to be completed by 2012.

The expressway includes 30 bridges and eight tunnels. Total investment is expected to reach 4.99 billion yuan (US$730.6 million), according to Sichuan Provincial Communications Department head Gao Feng.

Wenchuan County was the epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12 last year and Yingxiu is a town under Wenchuan's administration.

The two areas are now connected by a 56.6-kilometer two-lane highway. The expressway is the second route to link the two places.


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