An aerial view of the Fuzhou East Ring Expressway, a two-way four-lane project undertaken by China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd, in Jiangxi province. )CHINA DAILY)
Railway, bridge construction achieve milestones to connect major city cluster
With expanding effective investment key to stabilizing China's economic recovery this year, State-owned enterprises are ramping up efforts on key infrastructure projects nationwide.
According to State Grid Suzhou Power Supply Co, its 110-kilovolt Baimajing Substation project in a high-tech zone in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, successfully delivered power recently, marking the completion of the power support project for Suzhou Rail Transit Line 11, and the entire electrification work of the trans-provincial subway line from downtown Suzhou, Jiangsu province to Shanghai has been finished.
The project is a demonstration of connected infrastructure in the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region, the company said.
With a total length of 41.25 kilometers, the line starts from Weiting Station in the Suzhou Industrial Park in the west and ends in Kunshan in the east. At Huaqiao Station, passengers can transfer to Shanghai Line 11.
Suzhou Rail Transit Line 11 is the first trans-provincial subway line connecting Jiangsu with Shanghai and the only trans-provincial subway line in China, it added.
It will better connect the downtowns of Suzhou, Kunshan and Shanghai and bring the coordinated development of the urban cluster in the Yangtze River Delta region.
The project started construction last February, including the building of 19-km 110-kV transmission lines, spanning the Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge and Loujiang River twice each, which was complicated and took a long time.
Currently, the trial operation of the upgraded Suzhou Rail Transit Line 11 is drawing to a close. It is expected that a trial operation with passengers will be carried out in the middle of this year, the company said.
In Jiangxi province, China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd, a State contractor, said a major bridge project on the two-way four-lane Fuzhou East Ring Expressway has recently achieved full connection on the left side, laying a solid foundation for operation next October.
Due to its location on a slope, the building of the Tufang Bridge is undertaken under complicated construction conditions, which calls for many safety control measures. Strict environmental protection requirements were also highlighted during the construction to ensure minimum damage to the mountainous topography.
Considering the geological conditions, the project team came up with various solutions to guarantee the building progress, such as on-site beam construction in an enlarged prefabrication yard and better-measuring solutions supported by smart technologies, said Li Xiaofei, project manager with CR24, a unit of China Railway Construction Corp.
"With the results of simulations and data accumulated through on-site research, the construction began, and the whole process was under close watch by our quality and safety check teams," Li said, adding that the project was tough because it contains much relocation work of local cable and pipeline networks.
"The delivery of building materials is also a headache as the route goes through many villages and townships, but we made special arrangements in advance to avoid disturbances to normal local traffic operations," he said.
An infrastructure project listed on the local five-year development plan, the expressway has a total length of 40.9 kilometers, with a planned investment of 5.74 billion yuan ($804 million). Currently, an investment of 1.25 billion yuan has been made on the project, with the road base and most bridge engineering being completed, said a CR24 report on the project's building progress.
With a designed speed of 100 kilometers per hour, the expressway will not only facilitate vehicle trips between Fuzhou and its neighboring cities but also serve the city's development in the long run by playing a key role in linking with the Yangtze River Delta city cluster.
The expressway will also be the first expressway co-invested and operated by the China Railway 24th Bureau Group and the local government.
The completion of the whole project will further improve the expressway network in Jiangxi province, promote the strategic integrated development of Fuzhou's eastern area, ease traffic pressure on the main urban highways, and drive economic development along the expressway, said Li Kang, Party chief with China Railway 24th Bureau Group's project team.