|China Attaches Importance to Expressway Construction|
The central government will earmark 700-800 billion yuan to build highways to a total length of 350,000 km in western China over the next 10 years.
Work on eight inter-provincial roads commenced this year. Funds pooled by 12 provinces and regions in western China totaled 28.2 billion yuan in the first seven months of this year, up 24 percent over the same period last year.
By 2010, construction of nine national trunk roads in the west are scheduled to be completed. All major cities in the region will be connected by expressways.
Shaanxi Province is to invest 36.6 billion yuan in highway building over the next five years to bring its total highway mileage to 48,000 km. Gansu Province will allocate 40 billion yuan to upgrade existing roads.
The amount to be spent on highway projects in Ningxia over the next five years is to top 19.5 billion yuan, tripling the amount of the previous five years.
There has been an upsurge in planned expressway construction in the last couple of years. Tremendous progress has been made in the construction of expressways between Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province and Helgus Port in Xinjiang and between Shanghai, China's leading industrial center, and Chengdu, a leading metropolis in southwest China.