The city started construction on a middle ring road yesterday here in an effort to upgrade its urban transportation network and ease traffic congestion.
The middle ring road has been designed to function as an expressway between the Outer Ring Road and the Inner Ring Road, with eight lanes approximately 70 kilometers in length - 40 kilometers in Puxi and 30 kilometers in Pudong.
Upon completion of the new ring road, the city will have a 3,600-kilometer-long network of roadways, with 300 kilometers of expressways, 600 main roads and 2,700 kilometers of city-level branches, which will improve the traffic situation significantly.
"The Puxi section is slated to be operative by 2005 in order to relieve traffic congestion on the other two ring roads while the Pudong section is to be finished by 2007," said Wang Suzhong, general manager of Shanghai Mid-Ring Construction and Development Co Ltd.
Jointly invested by Shanghai Urban Construction Investment and Development General Corp and Shanghai Land (Group), the company, with 4 billion yuan (US$484 million) of registered assets, announced yesterday that it would take charge of attracting investment, controlling capital, construction and loan payments.
Wang said the Puxi work is expected to cost 12 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion) but costs for the Pudong part of the project are still undetermined.
The Puxi section will run through Yangpu, Hongkou, Zhabei, Putuo, Changning, Minhang and Xuhui districts from the north then journey westward and southward by way of Xiangyin Lu, Wenshui Lu, Zhenbei Lu, Beihong Lu, Hongxu Lu, Hongmei Lu, Hongmei Nanlu and Shangzhong Lu.
About 4,000 households in Puxi will be relocated to make room for the new roadway and the development company is currently assessing the situation in order to calculate proper compensation for these households.
Wang said the new ring road is to run across the Huangpu River with a tunnel in Yangpu in the north, however the river-crossing from the south has yet to be determined.
Three design institutes have presented plans for the project and the final decision will come down in about two weeks.
He also revealed that the government is providing favourable financial support for the public project.
(China Daily April 2, 2003)