Infrastructure opens up economic heart

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 1994, 12:00am

MORE infrastructure is being built to open up Shanghai's Pudong New Area which is being developed as a vast economic centre in one of China's fastest growing cities.

Two tunnels housing escalators each up to 700 metres long are planned across the Huang-pu River.

The escalators, designed for pedestrians to walk across the river instead of using automobiles, were aimed at resolving the traffic congestion between the overcrowded areas of Puxi and Pudong, said Chen Youhua, deputy chief engineer of the Bureau of Shanghai City Planning.

Mr Chen said it also planned to open up the developing economic zone in Pudong.

The district comprises five development areas, one of which is called Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, and is within the Shanghai's central business district.

The other four development areas have been set up separately within Pudong and are: Jingqiao Export Processing District; Waigaoqiao Free Trade District; Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park; and the Beica-Zhangjiang Zone.

Due to the incomplete infrastructure, the district attracted less interest from foreign investors in the past few years compared with the well-developed Puxi area.

Mr Chen said the feasibility study on the underwater escalators was complete and a Taiwanese entrepreneur had promised to undertake building one of them.

The first escalator was expected to be finished within the next two years, he said.

Shanghai government is now seeking foreign investment to build the other one.

Heavy congestion on Shanghai's streets and the government's ambition to develop a greater Shanghai has forced the authorities to develop extensive infrastructure in the districts of Puxi and Pudong.

There are more than 10 infrastructure projects under construction.

The seven-line Shanghai Underground Metro Railway and the proposed six-line light-rail system are two of the biggest ones in the city.

Metro Line number one is the first of Shanghai's planned metro lines. It has 13 stations and runs from Jin Jiang Park in the south to Shanghai Railway Station in the north. The line will be operational before next May.

Shanghai Metro Line number two will be the next route to serve the city. It will run east to west from Hong-Qiao city centre and cross the Huang-pu River to Long Dong Road where a passenger station serving Pudong is planned.

Even though the routes for the elevated light-rail system and the rest of the five underground metro lines were not yet confirmed, both networks would link either side of the Huang-pu River, according to Mr Chen.

There are another two cross-river tunnels and an outer ring and inner ring highway being built.