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Green highway work to start
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Shanghai will start construction of its first ecologically friendly expressway before the end of the year.

The road will link Chongming Island with Qidong, a coastal city in neighboring Jiangsu Province, the Shanghai Engineering Administrative Bureau said yesterday.

The proposal had been approved by the Ministry of Transport and the highway is expected to be completed by 2012. It marks the final phase of the Shanghai-Chongming-Jiangsu connection project that will connect downtown Shanghai, Chongming Island and Jiangxu Province with bridges, tunnels and highways.

The Yangtze Tunnel and Bridge project will link Pudong New Area and Chongming Island via Changxing Island. The Chongming-Qidong Expressway will be an intercity fast track at the mouth of Yangtze River, shortening travel times between Shanghai and east Jiangsu.

Because the Chongming-Qidong Expressway will pass through ecologically sensitive forests and wetlands on Chongming Island, a series of environmental protection measures will be adopted, according the proposal.

The construction schedule will be arranged to minimize its affect on animal mating seasons and fish migration. The construction will utilize about 20 to 40 percent less land than other similar projects and measures will be taken to reduce the noise of the road by two to three decibels.

Chongming Island, China's third largest, sits in the center of the mouth of the Yangtze River, which separates Shanghai and northern Jiangsu Province. The city government has plans to develop it into an ecology-based resort and residential area over the next few years.

The Yangtze Tunnel and Bridge project is almost complete and will open before the 2010 World Expo. When the new roads are operational, a trip from downtown Shanghai to Qidong will take about 90 minutes, down from 150 minutes, and the distance will be cut to 110 kilometers from 200 kilometers.

The six-lane Chongming-Qidong Expressway, spanning 53 kilometers, will merge into the Yangtze Tunnel and Bridge project on Chongming Island and stretch north to connect to the Nanjing-Nantong-Qidong Expressway in Qidong, Jiangsu Province.

(Shanghai Daily October 16, 2008)

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