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China opens $4 billion expressway on permafrost of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

The road was built on the world’s highest plateau over a period of six years.

world Updated: Aug 01, 2017 18:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Beijing
China,Qinghai-Tibet Plateau,China expressway
The Chinese national flag is raised during a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China on July 1.(REUTERS)

China has opened an expressway on the permafrost of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the world’s highest, at a total cost of $ 4 billion.

The 634.8-km expressway section, which connects Gonghe County with the city of Yushu in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, was built at an average altitude of over 4,000 metres.

Up to 36 per cent of the road is built on permafrost that could become unstable due to temperature changes caused by vehicles.

Advanced technology was developed to keep the ground surface stable for the construction and operation of the expressway, said Niu Jiangzhong, from the Electrical Engineering Co, Ltd of China Railway 12th Bureau Group.

Construction of the road took over six years, at a total cost of nearly 27 billion yuan ($ 4 billion).

To protect the local environment, vegetation was removed during construction and later replanted along the roadside.

The expressway has shortened the travel time between the provincial capital Xining and Yushu from 12 to just eight hours, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

First Published: Aug 01, 2017 18:27 IST