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Highway shattered by earthquake reopens
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Although some experts said it might take three years, the road from Dujiangyan to Wenchuan, the epicenter of the May 12 quake in southwest China that left 69,226 people dead, reopened to traffic on Tuesday.

"About 80 percent of the 90-kilometer road was damaged and more than 10 kilometers were covered with debris. Fifty bridges were damaged and seven were totally destroyed. It was at high risk of landslides and quake-formed lakes bursting," said Wang Yang, the Sichuan Provincial Communications Department road bureau head.

Premier Wen Jiabao took a bus to Yingxiu Town, Wenchuan on Tuesday and visited construction workers, more than 4,000 of whom did the repairs.

The road was once deemed by experts as needing "at least three years to reopen," Wang said. Vehicles had to detour along 800 km of mountainous road and cross two 4,000-meter-high mountains to transport necessities there after the earthquake.

The road is part of national highway No. 213, which runs from Lanzhou in the northwestern Gansu Province, to Mohan in the southwestern Yunnan Province.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2008)

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