China / Society

Sichuan-Tibet Highway marks 60 years

By Ma Danning ( Updated: 2014-10-11 11:10

Reporters from nine Chinese mainland and Hong Kong websites gathered in Southwest China city Chengdu on Friday and will soon embark on a journey to Lhasa in Tibet on Sichuan-Tibet Highway, reporting on livelihoods in cities and towns along the route and surveying possible benefits the overland road has brought to local people.

The reporters have been invited by The United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the completion of Sichuan-Tibet Highway and its opening to traffic in December 1954.

It also marks the 60th anniversary of Qinghai-Tibet Highway's being put into operation. Another group of journalists will start a tour on Qinghai-Tibet Highway from Xining of Qinghai province to Lhasa beginning Sunday.

The reporters on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway trip will visitYa'an, Kangding and Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province and Dege, Jiangda, Changduand Lahsa of Tibet autonomous region, covering sections in both the North Line and the South Line of the highway in a journey of more than 2,000 kilometers.

Sichuan-Tibet Highwayconsists of two lines with its South Line linkingYa'an, Kangding, and Tongolo of Sichuan province and Mangkang, Zuogong, and Nyingchi of Tibet autonomous region to Lhasa.

The South Line has a length of 2,115 kilometers and is a part of No 318 State Highway, which starts from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in the east to the Zhangmu Port of Tibet Autonomous Region China-Nepal Highway in the west.

The North Line, with a full length of 2,414 kilometers, overlaps with South Line at the section from Chengdu to Tongolo, goes north after separating from South Line at Tongolo, overlaps with it at Bangda after Qianning, Ganzi, Dege, Jiangda in Tibet Autonomous Region, and finally leads to Lhasa.

Construction of the highway started in April 1950 and is the first highway to link Chengdu, Sichuan province with Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region.

The whole project involved 110,000 builders made up of soldiers and local residents. More than 2,000 builders died finishing the line, which winds through 21 mountains over 4,000 meters high and crosses 14 major Southwest China rivers, including Nujiang and Jinshajiang, according to Sichuan Transport Bureau. The road reaches its highest point at a 5,050 meters altitude.


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