The first ring highway of Beijing, which is also the city's fifth ring road and one of major infrastructure construction projects for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, opened to traffic on Saturday.
Measuring 98.58 km long and 10-15 km away from the downtown, the ring highway circled the city and linked some major stadiums for Olympic games as well as many of the city's major communities, like Beiyuan, Wangjing and Shijingshan.
Eight expressways, such as Airport Expressway, Expressway from Beijing to Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Expressway to the Great Wall and Expressway from Beijing to Chengde, scenic spot in north China' Hebei Province, also have junctures with the fifth ring highway.
The completion of the ring highway will help relieve the city's traffic pressure and laid an infrastructure foundation for the 2008 Olympic Games.
The ring highway, with six traffic lanes and designed driving speed of 100 km per hour, includes the construction of altogether 259 bridges and flyovers.
The construction of the ring highway was started from November 2000 and completed at the end of October 2003. Investment for the ring highway reached 13.6 billion yuan (about 1.6 billion US dollars).