The iced-over southern section of China's north-south artery
road, the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway, was still jammed in both
directions on Sunday morning as freezing rain continued
The 2,310-kilometer expressway that links the capital to Zhuhai
City in the southern Guangzhou Province closed much of its length
in late January, when snow and freezing rain disrupted traffic. It
was ordered to re-open to ensure emergency supplies to disaster
According to road traffic updates from transportation
departments on Sunday, traffic was running smoothly on the
expressway in north China's Hebei and Henan and central China's
Hubei Province. But there was much congestion in the mountainous
parts of Hunan and Guangdong provinces, where roads were packed
with wagons, buses and private cars.
The pressure on the slick expressway was worsening, as many
home-bound holiday travelers stranded at railway stations and
airports took to the road.
A Xinhua reporter saw a 70-km expressway section in Hunan come
to a standstill on Sunday morning. More than 1,000 soldiers have
been sent to shovel ice and snow off the road.
Xinhua reporters also saw numerous wagons standing by the
roadside in the Chenzhou City section of the expressway in Hunan.
Some drivers said that they had been stranded there for 11
The Hunan Province Observatory forecast that the cold and rainy
weather would continue to Feb. 5, when a cold current would bring
another round of rain. The bad weather meant that ice would persist
on the roads.
Ice 2-10 centimeters deep caked the expressway in northern
Guangdong. Road maintenance workers used forklifts to shovel off
ice in sections of expressway on Feb. 1, but the ice returned when
the province received overnight rain on Feb. 2. Some sections of
the expressway in the province were forced to shut down.
"It was the first time that machines were used to remove ice and
snow on the expressway in Guangdong. The bad weather was rare in
the province," said Du Jun, general manager of the Beijing-Zhuhai
Bei Expressway Corp.
Traffic jams were seen on a 239-km section of the expressway in
the eastern province of Anhui. Police and medics were working
alongside the jammed expressway, offering help to the needy.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)