A new expressway linking the Olympic host city, Beijing, to its nearest co-host city, Tianjin, opened for traffic on Wednesday.
The dual four-lane intercity expressway is one of the key infrastructure projects for facilitating the Olympic traffic. It was designated for construction by the Ministry of Transport in 2006.
Dubbed as Beijing's offshore gateway, Tianjin is a collaborative host city for the Olympic soccer games.
The 135-km expressway links the national capital directly to the container port in Tianjin, whose throughput chalked up 7 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) in 2007. It makes possible for people in Tianjin to share Beijing's convenient air transport.
The two cities have been cooperating to integrate their road and rail networks in addressing the intercity travel, which had been affected by road congestion and slow rail service.
The expressway is the second fast road link after the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu expressway.
Besides highways, the newly built Beijing-Tianjin express railway was tested in June. It is scheduled to be in use by August, just ahead of the Games.
A bullet train ran at its maximum of 380 km per hour on the line in test runs, the fastest such service in the country. It shortens the intercity travel to 30 minutes.
(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2008)