The city of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, wants to solve residents' traffic and transportation problems, and a massive road construction and renovation program is its answer.
The local government said that 141 kilometers of roads will be built, expanded and renovated this year, along with 24 bridges and tunnels.
This is just a part of a city strategy to revive the old industrial bases and generally improve life for the locals.
The focus is mainly on work in eastern, western, and central parts of the city.
In the east, new roads are needed to connect tourist resorts around the Songhua River wetland, the Xiaobaiyupao wetland, and the Volga Villas.
And, several roads will be extended eastward to the railway container terminal to help the city's growing logistics sector.
In the western part, the focus is on the Yangmingtan Bridge over the Songhua. The eight-lane, 7,133-meter-long bridge is a key infrastructure project, with a budget of about 1.88 billion yuan.
Work on the bridge started in December 2009. The main structure should be completed next month and the bridge itself is scheduled to open by October 1, this year.
It is expected to handle 9,800 vehicles per hour, and to solve the traffic congestion problem on both sides of the Songhua.
In the city center, the emphasis is on Harbin Railway Station links and a more beautiful environment in old residential areas and business districts. More trees and grass will be planted.
Work already began on the Yangmingtan Bridge a year ago. Work on many of the other projects began this month.
Roads to the Harbin International Convention, Exhibition and Sports Center will be completed before June 15, the opening day of the International Economic and Trade Fair.
Also, tourist facilities at resorts in the east are expected to be ready before tourism hits its peak in August.
(China Daily 04/30/2011 page6)