The fourth major renovation of the Qinghai-Tibet Highway, one of the major roads linking "the Roof of the World" to other parts of China, is expected to be completed by June 2004.
The project, its fourth major renovation since opening to traffic in the 1950s, is expected to cost a total of 1.17 billion yuan (US$140 million), official sources with the Ministry of Communications said.
The renovation, which has been progressing smoothly since it began about a year ago, was needed to accommodate increased traffic due to the ongoing construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the sources said.
The most important part of the work was the upgrading of the section from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa in Tibet, involving new asphalt layers and reinforcement of bridges and culverts.
The 1,937-kilometer highway now accounts for 85 percent of the cargo traffic in and out of Tibet and 90 percent of the passenger traffic, according to official statistics.
Over the past decades, China has spent 5.884 billion yuan (US$700 million) on the maintenance of the highway, the sources said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 13, 2002)