Elevated highway expedites travel time in western suburbs
The main section of an elevated highway on the western outskirts of Shanghai opened to traffic on Monday, significantly cutting travel time between the city's western suburbs and downtown and easing traffic congestion on G50 Expressway and G318 National Highway.
The main part of the Songze Elevated Highway project stretches 18 kilometers from the east toll station of Songze Elevated Highway G15 Interchange to Caoying Road in Qingpu District.
With six lanes in both directions, it has a designed speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Seven parallel ramps are planned.
The highway is also an important link between Shanghai and other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region.
It now takes about 15 minutes to drive from the Hongqiao International Hub to Qingpu New City, compared with 50 minutes in the past.
The transit time between Qingpu and downtown is now within an hour.
Construction of the elevated highway encountered a number of obstacles, such as moving pipelines, transformer substations and cable lines, which is rare in the city's municipal construction, said Yang Pu, deputy general manager of Shanghai Qingfa City Construction Management Co, which built the highway.
The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the second half of this year, as some ramps are still under construction.
"It will alleviate traffic pressure on Shanghai's east-west arterial and fuel the development of Qingpu New City," said Yang.
With an extension planned, it serves the two national strategies – the China International Import Expo and Yangtze River Delta Ecology and Greenery Integration Demonstration Zone.