Xinjiang's new expressway to boost high-quality economic development

(Xinhua) 15:11, August 31, 2022

URUMQI, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- A new expressway passage that links northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region opened to traffic on Tuesday. It is expected to further facilitate the travel of the inland region's residents and boost the high-quality development of local economy.

Stretching about 300 kilometers, the expressway, linking Yetimbulak Township and Ruoqiang County, is an important part of the country's expressway network. With a designed speed of 120 km per hour, it is the third expressway connecting Xinjiang with places outside of the region.

So far, the mileage of expressways in Xinjiang has exceeded 7,500 km.

"The opening of Yetimbulak-Ruoqiang Expressway will further improve the road network structure of Xinjiang, which is of positive significance for driving the exploitation of resources along the route and helping promote the high-quality development of local economy and society in southern Xinjiang," said Aysajan Ahmat, head of the transport department of Xinjiang.

Ruoqiang County is known as the hometown of jujube dates in China. The fruits are able to reach markets outside Xinjiang faster through the new expressway.

"We got orders from the city of Xining, the capital city of northwest China's Qinghai Province. It used to take us around seven hours, but the travel time can be halved via the new passage," said Mehliya Ayup, a date grower from Ruoqiang County.

Considering the expressway passes through the Altun Mountains national nature reserve, many bridges and tunnels have been built along the route, instead of the traditional roadbed.

"Those facilities are especially built to reduce the impact on the wild animals in the reserve," said Song Liyan, who's in charge of the construction of the project from the China Communications Construction Company Limited.

Xinjiang has invested heavily to improve its transportation. From January to August, the region has invested more than 51.8 billion yuan (about 7.5 billion U.S. dollars) in this sector, 1.15 times that of the same period last year. 

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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