A car runs across Jijie Bridge in Yudu county, Jiangxi province, on Friday. The bridge, built by State-owned China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd, opened for traffic on Friday. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Centrally administered State contractors in China began building massive projects valued at more than 135.8 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) in June as the country upgrades its infrastructure and seeks to boost domestic demand.
Data that cninct.com — a website specializing in market information — compiled showed at least 10 major construction projects broke ground in June, covering urban rail lines, water conservancy facilities, highways and bridges.
China Railway Group Ltd (CREC), China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC) and China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) are among the State builders undertaking the projects.
The north extension of Line 8 of the Guangzhou Metro rail system in Guangdong province, which started construction on June 28, is the largest of the latest projects, the provincial capital government said in an announcement.
With a total investment of 48.3 billion yuan, the project includes a 41-kilometer route and 21 stations. CREC and CRCC are among the project builders. Line 8, the local government said, will better streamline transport in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and improve connectivity between Guangzhou and the surrounding regions.
China's infrastructure-building drive reflects efforts to expand domestic demand and achieve high-quality development in line with the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), experts said.
"With a relatively weak domestic demand weighing on the nation's economic recovery, building infrastructure is even more significant now as such activities can boost domestic demand and shore up market confidence," said Long Chaocan, an analyst and market consultant with China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd.
"More supportive measures such as moderately expanding fiscal spending and loosening restrictions on local government bond issuances should be rolled out to ensure investment and economic stimulus."
Meanwhile, work on projects launched before June is progressing briskly, various builders said.
China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd (CR24), a CRCC unit, said intensified efforts beginning this year led to the Jijie Bridge in Yudu county, Jiangxi province, opening for traffic on Friday.
Connecting the north and south banks of the Yudu River flowing through the old revolutionary base, the 960-meter-long bridge aims to "transform local outdated infrastructure and help accelerate development in a region with a storied Communist past", said Yin Zhangyong, project manager with CR24.
"The bridge is called Jijie, which is Chinese for gathering. It takes its name from an event that took place 86 years ago and shaped China's future. In October 1934, 86,000 main force troops of the Central Red Army assembled in Yudu county before departing on the Long March.
"Now, it's a new landmark in the once poverty-stricken county, connecting the county's old districts in the north with new ones in the south," Yin said.
With the new bridge, which was built with a total investment of 453 million yuan, travel time between the districts has been cut to less than 10 minutes from 30 minutes in the past.
Construction of the Xi'an-Chongqing High-speed Railway, which is expected to be a major vertical branch in the country's railway network, is also progressing fast, with the boring of Banshantian Tunnel, a key project located in mountainous Sichuan province, being the latest milestone reached.
After completion, the section where the 4.14-km two-rail tunnel is located will be the first railway passing through the Daba Mountains, and facilitate rail trips between the provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan, and will ultimately integrate development of the Yangtze River region and western China, CR24 said.