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China unveils blueprint for highway development in 2008
Latest Updated at 2008-January-7 09:21:09
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China will finish the planned construction of national highway system that comprises five north-south highway trunk roads and seven east-west trunk roads and build eight inter-provincial roads this year, communication minister Li Shenglin said on the weekend.

So far, the highway system, which has a total mileage of 35,000km, has taken shape, Li said at a national communication work conference held in Beijing.

Meanwhile, China is to build new expressway roads with a total length of 5,000 km and expand construction of eight inter-provincial highways, he said.

More important, Li said, the country will start building a road to Medog, the last roadless county in southeastern part of Tibet, this year. The central government has been considering building the highway in Medog since 1975. However, the highway poses a number of engineering challenges as Medog sits on the Himalayan fault line where there are many earthquakes and landslides.

By the end of 2007, China had built roads with a total length of 116,000 km. The mileage of highway opening to traffic totals 3.57 million km, Li said.

Work has completed on 80 percent of the eight inter-provincial highway roads. Constructions on bridges over the Yangtze River, Hangzhou Bay and some other key rivers are in final touches.

China to add and upgrade 270,000 km of rural highway in 2008

China is set to build and upgrade 270,000 kilometers of rural highway in 2008, a move to further modernize the country's transportation system in its vast rural areas, said Chinese Communications Minister Li Shenglin Sunday.

"The central and local governments will continue to allocate fund to support the countryside highway build-up and step up construction quality supervision this year," said Li at the ministry's annual conference held in Beijing over the weekend.

Statistics from the Ministry show that the country built and upgraded a record-high 423,000 kilometers of countryside highway in 2007, and 98.54 percent of villages and towns had been connected by highways nationwide by the end of 2007.

The country started large-scale countryside highway building and upgrading in 2003. In 2006, 320,000 kilometers of rural highway were built and revamped nationwide.

Li added that special supports shall be extended to those border and poverty-stricken areas as well as areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups.

Editor: Yan

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