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All counties in Sichuan’s Tibetan areas to be linked by freeways by 2035
update:December 31,2019
Dec.31, 2019 -- Another 43 miles of Wen Ma freeway in southwest China’s Sichuan province will be opened to traffic at 24:00, on Dec. 31st. The highway is expected to be put in full operation in 2020 when the remaining 20 miles are opened.
Apart from Ya Kang freeway, it is another freeway that extends to Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan. According to the Freeway Network Plan in Sichuan Province (2019-2035), all 32 counties in the Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan will be connected by freeways by 2035.
Two horizontal highway lines and two vertical highway lines will connect all the counties in the Tibet-inhabited areas. Ya Kang freeway and Wen Ma freeway are two horizontal lines from east to west. Wen Ma freeway in the north will extend to Bai Yu and De Ge where Sichuan borders Tibet. The freeway in the south starting from Ya An will connect Tibet by way of Hu Ding, Kang Ding, Ya Jiang, Li Tang and Ba Tang. The vertical line in the west begins from Ban Ma in Qinghai province and arrives in Shangri-La, Yunnan province. The vertical line in the east from Longnan, Gansu province, after stopping by places including Song Pan and Ma Er Kang, will connect other highways which lead to Yunnan province.
Before the construction of Ya Kang and Wen Ma freeways, the capitals of Ganzi and A’Ba prefectures are the only two capitals that were not linked by freeways in Sichuan province. In 2017, Ya An-Hu Ding Freeway, a part of Ya Kang freeway was opened to traffic, which was the first freeway in Ganzi prefecture. In 2018, the whole Ya Kang freeway can offer transport services and the freeway can get to Kangding City, Ganzi prefecture. In 2019, 148 miles of Wen Ma freeway were opened to traffic which means all the capitals of prefectures in Sichuan province have been connected by freeways.
Builders have to overcome a slew of difficulties including complicated geographical and geological conditions, harsh climates, fragile ecology and technical problems. Jiu Ma highway, which is under construction, will go through tens of miles of wetlands. Builders are trying to strike a balance between project quality and ecological protection.
By: Zhou Tianyu
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