Last part of Shanghai's suburban ring highway takes shape
Shanghai, a well-established destination for investment from home and abroad, is confident to ride the waves of a rising city to attract more quality investment with better policies and services.
The structure for the last remaining section of Shanghai's Suburban Ring Road, or the G1503 Expressway, which will comprise the city's longest ring-shaped highway connecting all outlying districts, has been completed.
The 7.8-kilometer-long expressway section along the Yangtze River in northern Baoshan District began to take shape on Wednesday. The project is running 40 days ahead of schedule, despite the suspension of work during the city's COVID-19 lockdown.
The new highway between Fuchang and Mudanjiang roads will open to the public by the end of 2022 to bridge the gap in the G1503 Expressway, which is currently in a C-shape, according to Shanghai Chengtou Highway Investment Group.
After completion, it will take about 10 minutes to drive from Baoshan's Yuepu and Yanghang towns to the Waigaoqiao bonded zone in the Pudong New Area. Now the trip takes at least half an hour via the ground roads, said Yin Fuqiu, deputy general manager of the construction company with Chengtou.
The expressway is also expected to relieve some pressure on highways nearby, especially the S20 Outer Ring Road, which is often jammed with cargo and container trucks, he pointed out.
"It will become a key cargo transport channel for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Pudong and key part of the highway networks of the Yangtze River Delta region."
The 208-kilometer G1503 Expressway, also known as the Suburban Ring Road, is the city's longest ring-shaped expressway.
It is also the only national expressway that is yet to be completed in Shanghai and a bottleneck in the city's highway system, according to the construction company.
Construction on the ring road's remaining section, which include elevated roads, tunnels and ground roads, started in early 2020.
The work was interrupted by the city's COVID-19 resurgence in mid-March and later suspended. It was among the second batch of key construction projects that were allowed to resume work on May 24.
A string of high-tech and innovative measures have been taken to catch up with the schedule delayed by the COVID-19 resurgence, a project manager revealed.
A large majority of the steel panels and concrete parts, for instance, were prefabricated to largely enhance efficiency while reducing labor costs. Smart chips were installed to monitor the process of grouting.
As a highlight, a new type of undulated steel plates have been widely used for the first time on a key national highway project.
The substitute to traditional concrete supportive panels can reduce the weight by up to 40 percent with better durability and resistance. It can be promoted to other local road and bridge projects, the company said.