A tunnel beneath the Yellow River has been completed for the eastern route of China's giant south-north water diversion project, according to the Shandong Provincial Construction Management Bureau of South-to-North Water Diversion Project on Jan. 8.
Dubbed the "throat" of the eastern route, the tunnel, China's second longest, will divert water annually from the Yangtze, China's largest river.
Water will flow through the tunnel to the northern provinces of Shandong and Hebei as well as Tianjin Municipality.
The 585-meter-long tunnel, 9 meters in diameter and up to 70 meters deep, will divert 442 million cubic meters of water annually.
Construction of the key project on the 1,467-km-long eastern route cost 613 million yuan (US$ 97.2 million), lasted four years and is expected to supply water to northern China by 2013.
The south-north water diversion project, with an estimated total cost of 500 billion yuan, plans to divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water annually from the Yangtze through eastern, middle and western routes.