After nearly a year of preparation, construction managers say they hope to begin digging the new double-decker Fuxing Road Tunnel under the Huangpu River by early next year.
Workers have already dug a 21-meter deep well on the Pudong side of the river, which is where a huge digging machine will begin carving out space for the tunnel under the riverbed.
The tunnel should open to traffic in early 2005, according to its developer, Shanghai Urban Construction (Group) Corporation.
The only other similarly designed tunnel, in Paris, is not scheduled to be completed before 2008, said Qiao Zongzhao, a senior engineer with the Shanghai Tunnel Engineering and Rail Transit Design and Research Institute.
The tunnel, which will connect Fuxing Road E. in Puxi with Zhangyang Road in Pudong District, will be made up of two separate tubes that are 2,780 meters long. One tube will handle eastbound traffic to Pudong, and the other westbound traffic to Puxi, Qiao said.
The 2.6-meter-high upper levels will have two lanes that will be used only by cars and taxis. The single-lane 4-meter-high lower levels will be open to large vehicles like trucks and buses, as well as cars.
"Though it is of the same diameter as the Yan'an Road Tunnel, the two-level design means it will handle nearly 30 percent more traffic than the Yan'an tunnel," said a spokesman for the developer.
(eastday.com November 1, 2002)