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SIP to Build the First Tunnel in Suzhou

SIP celebrated its 12 anniversary on May 12 by commencing a major engineering project, the eastward extension of South Ring Road, a part of which is a bridge and tunnel through Dushu Lake in SIP. The tunnel will be the longest of its kind in urban areas of China. Present at the commencement ceremony were Wang Rong, Member of Standing Committee of CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee and Secretary of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee, Mayor Yan Li, Wang Jinhua, Deputy Secretary of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee and Secretary of SIP Party Working Committee, Zhou Fuyuan, Chairman of Standing Committee of Suzhou Municipal People’s Congress, Feng Ruidu, Chairman of Municipal Political Consultative Conference, and Zhu Jiansheng, Vice-mayor of Suzhou. Wang Rong personally pressed the button to activate the start of pile driving of the project.

The road extension project, one of the two major public projects decided upon by the municipal party committee and government, starts from the intersection of East Ring and South Ring, extends eastward across Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway, Tongyuan Road, Xinggang Street, goes underground at Jinji Lake Golf Course, passing underneath Dushu Lake and Xinghu Street, and continues above ground in the direction of Kunshang and Shanghai. The total distance is 7.37 kilometers, of which is 3.43 kilometers of overpass, 3.46 kilometers of tunnel, and 0.48 kilometers of ground approach, with another 2.86 kilometers of access roads. A 6-lane 2-way road, 26-meter-wide bridge and 30.2-meter-wide tunnel are designed to accommodate vehicle speed of 60km/hr. The estimated construction cost is 2.4 billion yuan RMB. The planned completion for traffic is October 2007.

The project will play an important part in smoothing the traffic between the old city proper, SIP, and the surrounding regions of Suzhou. As Yan Li pointed out at the ceremony, the construction of the project conforms to the basic strategy of "making eastern regions the primary direction of urban development of Suzhou" and the construction of Suzhou-SIP-Kunshan thoroughfare to link with Shanghai and the rest of Yangtze delta. The mayor called on all the builders to complete a high-quality, historic, landmark project of Suzhou.

May 13, 2006

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