In northwest China, the first cross-desert Xinjiang Expressway was formally opened to traffic on Saturday, reducing travel time between cities in northern Xinjiang, according to the regional transport department.
The highway, which connects Altay Prefecture with the regional capital of Urumqi, is 343 kilometres long, with sections of more over 150 kilometres in length constructed through the Gurbantunggut Desert, which is the second-largest desert in the world.
Due to its position as a vital link in the region’s transportation network, the expressway will help to reduce travel time between cities in the region’s northern half while also improving travel conditions.
The journey time between Altay and Urumqi is reduced by half, to around three and a half hours, when travelling at the designed maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour.
Additionally, the expressway is intended to serve as a tourism-experience road, allowing vehicles and passengers to take use of a variety of picturesque sights and amenities while travelling the route, as well as encouraging economic development in the communities along the route.