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City Ring Road Comes Full Circle
The city's outer-ring road was officially completed on Saturday, with the opening of the 1.748 billion yuan (US$211 million) Waihuan Tunnel.

The tunnel, which extends almost 3 kilometers under the Huangpu River, is the world's second largest submerged tunnel, according to Chen Bin, deputy general manager of Shanghai Urban Construction Group.

City Mayor Han Zheng said, "The milestone project solves the problem motorists face crossing the river in the north of the city and will help develop the two banks and even outer areas in neighboring provinces."

Han said the city will build more river crossings to link Shanghai with other parts of the Yangtze River Delta and boost the economy of Pudong area, which already accounts for a quarter of the city's total gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, work on what is believed to be China's largest tunnel using the "shield excavation" method started on Saturday.

Xiangyin Lu Tunnel has two sections: a southern one which is 2,606 meters long and a northern one which is 2,597 meters long.

The tunnel will accommodate four traffic lanes with speed limits of 80 kilometers per hour and connect the planned Wuzhou Boulevard in Pudong to Xiangyin Lu in Puxi.

Xiangyin Lu Tunnel will connect with the recently started mid-ring road. Another two cross-river tunnels are also planned as part of the mid-ring road network, according to Ding Shoulin, a senior engineer with Shanghai Bridge Construction Co.

Other tunnels in Shanghai include the Dalian Lu and Fuxing Lu tunnels. Most of the work on Dalian Lu Tunnel was completed at the end of last week and the project will start operation in September. Fuxing Lu Tunnel is to open to traffic next year.

"We will have a busy decade because more work, on both bridges and tunnels, will begin soon to create a dynamic, well-connected city," Ding said.

(China Daily June 23, 2003)

Ring Routes to Smooth City Traffic
Shanghai Plans Its Third Ring Road
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