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Xinjiang resumes construction of its first cross-desert expressway

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-28 21:22

URUMQI - Construction of the first cross-desert expressway in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has resumed, the regional department of transportation said.

The expressway, linking Altay prefecture and the regional capital city of Urumqi, stretches some 343 km, with sections of more than 150 km built through the desert.

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

Driving time will be reduced to about four hours from over seven hours between the two places when the project, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour, completes and opens to traffic in 2022, the department said.

Xu Xianjun, executive director of the Altay-Urumqi expressway corporation that oversees the project, said the expressway, traversing the Gurbantunggut Desert and the Junggar Basin, will also be a travel route with special landscapes along the way.

Xinjiang has fully restarted production and major projects, and local people's life has returned to normal as the region had reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for 39 consecutive days as of Friday.

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