New expressway to Sichuan Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture open to traffic
Updated 09:53, 04-Jan-2019
An expressway linking Ya'an and Kangding in southwest China's Sichuan Province went into trial operation Monday morning, marking the total length of expressways in the province at 7,238 kilometers.
The construction of the expressway was completed nine months ahead of the schedule. It will be the second highway into the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan after the National Highway 318, which leads to Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, said the provincial department of transportation.
The newly-completed route will enable passengers to travel from Chengdu to Kangding, capital of Garze, in only three and a half hours.
An aerial view of the Ya'an-Kangding expressway, December 29, 2018. /VCG Photo

An aerial view of the Ya'an-Kangding expressway, December 29, 2018. /VCG Photo

The total length of the Ya'an-Kangding expressway is about 135 kilometers, at a cost of about 23 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars).
As it climbs from the Sichuan Basin several hundred meters above sea level to the edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the expressway's cumulative ascent exceeds 2,000 meters, said the department.
The construction of the expressway started in September 2014 and faced challenging geographic conditions including narrow and steep terrains. One of its mountain tunnels even passes through 13 earthquake fault zones.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency