(ECNS) - Beijing will be linked with Xiongan New Area, which spans three counties in Hebei Province about 100 km southwest of the capital, within an hour’s drive, according to an expressway plan released by Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning and Land and Resources Management.
Regarded as a new area of "national significance" following the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai Pudong New Area, Xiongan will be the location for Beijing's non-capital functions, a key step to advancing coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The planned Beijing-Xiongan Expressway will start from Beijing's 5th Ring Road, pass over Yongding River and run through Fangshan District south to the border of Hebei Province following the direction of Xiaoqing River.
Preparatory work on building the 27-kilometer-long expressway will start this year and construction may commence by the end of the year. Upon completion, it will take 60 minutes to drive from Xiongan New Area to Beijing or Tianjin and 90 minutes to Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province.
The expressway is the centerpiece of Xiongan’s massive transportation plan to build a “four vertical and three horizontal” regional road network.
Construction on a rail link between Beijing and Xiongan New Area already began in February. The 33.5 billion yuan line stretches 92.4 km via Daxing District of Beijing and Bazhou City in Hebei and has five stops. Travel time between Beijing and Xiongan will be 30 minutes after the railway becomes operational by the end of 2020.