China has moved one step closer to the construction of a major highway on the outskirts of Beijing. (Photo/CGTN)
China has moved one step closer to the construction of a major highway on the outskirts of Beijing, further boosting the capital's economic prospects, the newspaper Economic Reference reported on Tuesday.
The feasibility study for the Tongzhou-Daxing Highway has been approved by China's state planner. The road will complete the 7th Ring Road loop around Beijing.
A budget of 12.18 billion yuan (1.77 billion US dollars) was approved for the 37.94-kilometer, six-lane road, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). It will run from Beijing's Tongzhou District in the east to Daxing District in the south.
Afternoon traffic creeps along a major ring road circling Beijing on December 6, 2011. /VCG Photo
The NDRC plans to adopt the public private partnership (PPP) model for the project. The government will shell out 9.17 billion yuan (1.33 billion US dollars), accounting for about three quarters of the cost.
The 7th Ring Road stretches nearly 1,000 kilometers and links a dozen highways in a chain that circles the far outskirts of Beijing. Five successively smaller coils of highways sit inside of it. The smallest, and nearest to the Forbidden City on the central axis of the capital, is the 2nd Ring Road.
The completion of the 7th Ring Road will tick off another checkbox in a long-held state plan to tie the capital city and its surrounding suburbs into a massive megalopolis known as Jing-Jin-Ji , with "Jing" for Beijing, "Jin" for Tianjin, and "Ji" for Hebei Province.
Officials hope less developed areas in this integration will be transformed into residential areas, office parks, and industrial estates to spur economic growth and ease pressure that has led to congestion and soaring property prices in the capital.