The 4th-ring expressway encircling Beijing, capital city of China, is officially opened to traffic on Saturday.
The No.4 Ring Road is one of the State's key construction projects, with a total length of 65.3 km and an initially accounted investment of 7.26 billion yuan (about US$930 million).
Construction of the project started in 1998. It is reported to be the most important project in Beijing's urban construction history in terms of quality, scale and investment.
The new expressway has been built in accordance with high standards, with eight lanes for two-way traffic and an additional lane for emergency parking on both sides. The designed traffic speed ranges from 80 to 100 km/h. The whole line has been facilitated with traffic safety equipment, lighting systems and 100-meter-wide green belts.
The ring road runs through many newly developed residential areas, commercial centers and hi-tech development zones, which will greatly help ease Beijing's urban traffic pressure.
There will be no toll gates on the expressway and the loan of 5 billion yuan to the project is to be recouped by 2010, a local official said.
Jia Qinglin, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, and Liu Qi, Beijing mayor, attended a ceremony Saturday to mark the opening of the expressway.
(People's Daily 06/09/2001)