Xinjiang's first desert-crossing expressway opens to traffic

(People's Daily Online) 11:01, December 26, 2021

In this aerial photo, vehicles pave a section of a cross-desert expressway with asphalt in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 16, 2021. (Xinhua/Gao Han)

URUMQI, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The first cross-desert expressway in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region officially opened to traffic on Saturday, cutting travel time between cities in north Xinjiang, said the regional transport department.

The expressway, linking Altay Prefecture and the regional capital Urumqi, stretches some 343 km, with sections of more than 150 km constructed through Gurbantunggut Desert, the second-largest desert in China.

As an artery of Xinjiang's transportation framework, the expressway will help shorten the journey between cities in the northern part of the region and improve travel conditions.

With a designed maximum speed of 120 km per hour, the travel time between Altay and Urumqi is reduced by half, to about three and a half hours.

In addition, the expressway is also designed to be a tourism-experience road, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy diverse scenic views and services along the way, and facilitating economic development in regions along the route.

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Bianji)


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