The city will soon kick off a 25-kilometre-long sea-crossing project to link the mainland with Chongming Island to boost the development on the island and provide more passages to neighbouring Jiangsu Province.
"It is vital to promote the economy of Chongming and construct a traffic network at the estuary of the Yangtze River," said an unnamed source at the planning division of the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Administrative Bureau.
The development is a key project of the city over the 10th-Five-Year Plan (2001-05). Two other nearby islands, Hengsha Island and Changxing Island, will also be developed.
Running from the Waigaoqiao Port area in Pudong and joining Chongming's main Chenhai Street, the road will run in both directions and have six lanes.
The estimated cost is 12 to 14 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion to US$1.69 billion) if plans call for it to be a tunnel, or a bit less if it is to be a bridge.
Timetable not fixed yet
Developers said the project proposal has been presented to the State Development Planning Commission which has entrusted the project to an engineering consultant company for assessment.
Bridge and tunnel proposals are the two practical construction possibilities. A judge panel will determine the final choice.
Planners are still working on the project despite the fact that approval from the central government will not come until late this year, developers said.
A time frame for the construction has not been made yet and it might vary with the changeable situations on the river bed.
Chongming Island which is known for its abundant biological resources will be greatly spurred as will residents' living standards.
Currently only ferry boats connect the island with the mainland. The island also suffers when disastrous typhoons hit.
Haimen in Jiangsu Province also hopes to join Chongming Island by building a bridge, so that the city may have a shortcut to North Jiangsu.
(People's Daily April 3, 2002)