Tibet completes first expressway

14:20, July 14, 2011      

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Tibet has finished building its first expressway, a 38-km long, four-lane road linking Lhasa's city center with Gonggar Airport in the neighboring Shannan Prefecture, the local government said.

The toll-free expressway will halve the travel time from downtown Lhasa to the airport to 30 minutes.

Construction of the expressway began in April 2009 and was completed in early July, 11 months ahead of schedule.

The exact time of its opening remains unknown.

The expressway starts at the Lhasa Railway Station and runs along the southern bank of the Lhasa River.

The 1.59 billion yuan (246 million U.S. dollars) expressway allows vehicles to drive at 80 to 120 km per hour, and its lighting is fueled by solar energy.

The new expressway will ease traffic pressure on a section of the No. 318 national highway that has traffic jams year round.

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