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Gansu's road extension

(Global Times)

11:13, September 28, 2011


Repair works are seen underway September 21 on a highway linking Tianshui and Dingxi in Gansu Province after huge cracks appeared on the roadbed. (Xinhua Photo)

Amid public anger and criticism, the Gansu provincial government released preliminary findings on Tuesday on the cause of quality problems on a highway that cost more than 8 billion yuan ($1.25 billion) to build but had a service life of less than 80 days.

Last week, China Central Television (CCTV) reported that large cracks and potholes were found on a 52-kilometer section of the 235-kilometer highway linking Tianshui and Dingxi in Gansu, which opened to the public at the end of May.

The highway project has a total investment of 8.75 billion yuan, involving 75 design, construction and inspection organizations. It was dubbed "the road for development and hope" as part of an artery linking China's east and west.

However, quality problems quickly turned the highway into "a country road," the Beijing News commented, and speculation began to grow over possible corruption in the project.

Wu Zhibin, a deputy secretary-general of the Gansu government, told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that repair work started July 14 and had been completed by Monday.

"The repair work cost 120 million yuan in total, which was taken on by the highway's builder, Meng Xing Engineering Co in Shaanxi Province, as the road failed within the two-year guarantee period," Wu said.

He listed three major reasons for the quality problems: inferior raw materials, shoddy construction work and bad weather.

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