Piv­otal link for trains, cars

Span ex­pected to help ease traf­fic for trav­el­ers from Nan­tong to Shang­hai

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CANG WEI in Nan­tong, Jiangsu cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn Ding Con­grong in Nan­tong con­trib­uted to this story.

A grand bridge over the Yangtze River serv­ing cars and trains be­gan op­er­a­tions on Wed­nes­day in Nan­tong, Jiangsu prov­ince, and is ex­pected to greatly pro­mote the in­te­gra­tion of the Yangtze River Delta and bol­ster the econ­omy of one of China’s most de­vel­oped re­gions, the coun­try’s top trans­port au­thor­i­ties said.

The Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Yangtze River Bridge stretches 11,072 me­ters, with a sin­gle span of 1,092 me­ters. It took six years and four months to build be­tween Nan­tong and Zhangji­a­gang, a county-level city of Suzhou city, Jiangsu prov­ince.

Wang Feng, deputy chief en­gi­neer of China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion, said that many new tech­nolo­gies were used in the ca­ble-stayed bridge, in­clud­ing an ad­vanced anti-col­li­sion sys­tem and ca­bles with the high­est ten­sile strength in the world.

“The anti-col­li­sion sys­tem can warn the river traf­fic au­thor­ity within 3 kilome­ters if a ship ap­pears likely to strike a bridge pier,” he said.

Each of the bridge’s 432 ca­bles can hold up to 1,000 met­ric tons, roughly the weight of more than 600 cars. A to­tal of 480,000 tons of steel were used for the bridge.

As the sec­ond dual-use bridge in Jiangsu, fol­low­ing the Nan­jing Yangtze River Bridge, the newly opened struc­ture will greatly ease traf­fic conges­tion that cur­rently oc­curs on two neigh­bor­ing Yangtze River bridges in Nan­tong and Wuxi cities. Travel time be­tween Nan­tong and Wuxi by high­way will be cut in half to 40 min­utes.

The up­per half of the bridge, a high­way of six lanes, has a speed limit of 100 kilome­ters per hour. The lower half of the bridge has four lanes for trains.

The Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Rail­way also started op­er­a­tion on Wed­nes­day.

With a de­signed speed of 200 km/h, the new rail­way lane will cut travel time be­tween Nan­tong and Shang­hai from 3.5 hours to just over an hour.

Com­muters be­tween Nan­tong and Shang­hai no longer have to go to Nan­jing to trans­fer.

A max­i­mum of 44.5 pairs of pas­sen­ger trains and six pairs of freight trains will be launched ev­ery day.

From Nan­tong, the 143-km rail­way en­ters Shang­hai through Zhangji­a­gang, Chang­shu and Taicang in Jiangsu’s Suzhou city.

The three county-level cities have been in­cluded in the coun­try’s rail­way net­work since the open­ing of the rail­way.

Pan Guo­qiang, Party sec­re­tary of Zhangji­a­gang, said that the Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Rail­way will not only greatly im­prove the traf­fic ef­fi­ciency of the city, but also ac­cel­er­ate its process of in­te­grat­ing with the rapid developmen­t of the Yangtze River Delta.

“The traf­fic be­tween Zhangji­a­gang and Shang­hai will be short­ened from the pre­vi­ous two hours by high­way to the cur­rent 30 min­utes by rail­way,” Pan said.

“The city will es­tab­lish a traf­fic net­work con­sist­ing of high­ways, rail­ways and ports. The Zhangji­a­gang Port, one of the largest in­ter­na­tional trade ports along the Yangtze, has opened up more than 40 con­tainer routes and car­ried out trade with more than 320 ports in over 90 coun­tries.”

Jiangsu prov­ince cur­rently has six rail­ways un­der con­struc­tion. More than 180 bil­lion yuan ($25.5 bil­lion) will be in­vested to con­struct the 1,021 km of rail­ways, ac­cord­ing to the Jiangsu Trans­port Bureau.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A bridge stretch­ing over the Yangtze River opens on Wed­nes­day. The 11,072-me­ter Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Yangtze River Bridge con­nects the cities of Nan­tong and Zhangji­a­gang, both in Jiangsu prov­ince. It took six years and four months to com­plete the project.

YIN LIQIN / CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

Pas­sen­gers take pho­tos of the Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Yangtze River Bridge on a train from Shang­hai to Nan­tong as both the bridge and the Shang­hai-Suzhou-Nan­tong Rail­way opened on Wed­nes­day.

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