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China opens new expressway in Qinghai running on permafrost

China opened on Aug 1 an expressway connecting two counties in Qinghai Province. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)
China opened on Aug 1 an expressway connecting two counties in Qinghai Province. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug02, 2017) – China opened on Aug 1 an expressway connecting two counties in Qinghai Province, with more than a third of it built on permafrost, reported the country’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 1.

The report said the 634.8-km expressway section, connecting Gonghe (Tibetan: Chabcha) County in Hainan (Tsolho) Prefecture with the city of Yushu (Yulshul) in Yushu Prefecture, was built at an average altitude of over 4,000 metres.

The report added that up to 36 percent of the road was built on permafrost that could become unstable due to temperature changes caused by vehicles. It cited Niu Jiangzhong, from the Electrical Engineering Co., Ltd. of China Railway 12th Bureau Group, as saying advanced technology was developed to keep the ground surface stable for the construction and operation of the expressway.

The report said the construction of the road had taken over six years and had cost nearly 27 billion yuan (US$4 billion).

The report said the expressway had shortened the travel time between the provincial capital Xining and Yushu from 12 hours to just eight.

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