NW China's Qinghai opens new scenic highway

Northwest China's Qinghai Province Tuesday opened a scenic expressway after a prolonged construction aimed to minimize the impact on the forests it traverses. 

Running through Beishan National Forest Park and Cangjiaxia Provincial Forest Park, the 50-km-long Zhalonggou-Nianbozhen Highway is dubbed as the "most beautiful road of Qinghai." 

It took five years to complete the construction, a long process considering the country's prowess in infrastructure construction, with officials saying it is required by the increasing focus on environmental protection.

"To minimize the occupation of forested lands, over half of the highway was rerouted and some sections were turned into overpasses," said Wang Jianliang, vice head of the province's highway construction and management bureau.

Qinghai Lake. /VCG Photo

Qinghai Lake. /VCG Photo

Officials said over 67,000 trees were spared as the highway rerouted to bypass densely-forested areas, and waste construction materials were used to build 42 parking bays instead of being dumped into the environment.

Wang said environmental protection now figures prominently in Qinghai's road construction, taking up a certain portion of the budget of each project.

Qinghai, much of which lies on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, has in the past five years poured over 10 billion yuan (1.4 billion U.S. dollars) into ecological protection and restoration of its road and transportation projects.

(Cover: The Zhalonggou-Nianbozhen Highway. /Xinhua Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency