Beijing’s new ring road to run 1,000km

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 7, 2014
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Beijing's biggest and newest planned road will run for almost 1,000 km, and take you back to exactly where you started from.

The layout of China's capital is becoming more like a vortex, with six rings radiating outwards - and now a seventh is planned with a length of 940 km.

Around 90 percent of the 7th Ring Road will pass through neighboring Hebei Province, says Gao Jinhao, director of Hebei's communications department.

Officially known as the "the Great Beijing Outer Ring Road", the highway would bypass Langfang, Zhuozhou, Zhangjiakou, and Chengde, in Hebei Province, and shorten journeys between Beijing's neighbors, Gao says.

According to CCTV, the new highway is expected to open in 2017, two years later than first announced by officials.

Some netizens mocked the seemingly never-ending development of new rings around the capital.

"From now on people won't have to ask which province are they from. They just have to ask which ring are they in," said netizen Soubudaohu.

Another, Meihuomonu, said: "Gradually, there will be only one city in China - Beijing."

Some questioned the impact of the new ring road and whether it would encourage motorists to come into Beijing, adding to the already heavy congestion.

Responding to the concerns, Xu Shutong, vice president of the Beijing Capital Highway Development Group, says it would solve traffic problems as well as human resources and logistics problem, and attract industrial development around it.

The road would link highways surrounding Beijing and boost transport development in eastern Beijing, offering new routes for goods moving around Beijing, Tianjin municipality and Hebei Province.

The 7th Ring Road is part of the "Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei transportation integration plan", which aims to link cities with high-speed rail and highways, says Gao.

For instance, it currently takes two hours to travel between Beijing and Hebei tourist destination Baiyangdian, but the new road would halve that.

Developers say the road could help disperse suspended particulates in the air in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei zone, the most heavily polluted region in China, as the new highway would divert trucks away from the periphery of Beijing.

The 2nd Ring Road is the closest ring road to the center of Beijing, and the first of the given ring roads rippling outwards.

It is 32.7 km long and was completed in 1992, while the 3rd Ring Road was built in the 1980s enclosing Haidian, Xicheng, Chaoyang, and Fengtai districts.

The 4th Ring Road is 65.3 km long, about 8 km from downtown Beijing. The 5th Ring Road was completed in 2003, and the 6th, completed in 2009, is 187.6 km long and about 20 km from downtown.

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