Nanjing tunnel ready in five years

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 September, 2009, 12:00am

Nanjing's second tunnel connecting the northern and southern banks of the Yangtze River will be completed in five years, bringing the total number of crossings either over or under China's longest river in Nanjing to seven.

But the city planners' dream of building road crossings over the Yangtze River is far from over. China News Service reports that construction of 16 more crossings are planned by 2030.

Construction of the second tunnel, to be called the Wei Seventh Road Tunnel, at an estimated cost of 5.2 billion yuan (HK$5.9 billion), would begin later this year, the news agency said yesterday.

So far, the city's coffers hold one billion yuan poised to finance the construction, according to the report, but it did not say when the rest of the money would be ready or where it was coming from.

It will be a double-deck tunnel, 7.2 kilometres long, and provide eight traffic lanes. It is expected to handle 100,000 vehicles daily on completion in 2014.

The report quoted planners as saying it would ease heavy traffic on existing bridges and the Wei Third Road Tunnel.

The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, completed in 1968, was the first structure to connect Nanjing's north and south banks.

It was the first important bridge designed and constructed totally by mainland engineers since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.

The lower deck of the double-deck bridge is used by trains, and the upper deck is for vehicles and pedestrians.