Aerial photo of G40 Shanghai-Shaanxi expressway Chuzhou branch (picture by Shen Guo)
With the accelerated construction of three expressway projects, Anhui's last four counties without expressways will enter the "era of expressways" this year.The last four counties will enter the "era of expressway"
Despite the winter cold, fervent builders of the "expressway for every county" project in the North Anhui Province Plain and the mountainous area of south Anhui are raising the "heat" of the construction sites by working at maximum strength. The accelerated freeway projects of Gubeng (Guzhen County to Bengbu City, 35.79 km), Wuhuang (Wuhu city to Huangshan City, 116.12 km), Chizhou to Shitai section of Chiqi Expressway (38 km) are now ensured to be completed and open to traffic in 202. This means that the last four counties without freeways in the province, Guzhen, Jing County, Jingde, and Shitai will enter their "era of expressway".
"We have taken 'expressway for every county' as our 'No. 1 priority task' this year, and spared no effort to ensure that the three projects would be opened to traffic on schedule. "Said Xiang Xiaolong, chairman and party secretary of Anhui Traffic Control Group.
Builders fully committed to overcoming technical difficulties
On January 26th, good news came to the construction sites that all 18 tunnels of the Wuhuang Expressway project in the mountainous area of south Anhui were fully connected. According to Liu Tuo, deputy director of the project office of the Wuhuang Expressway, Wuhuang Expressway is a typical mountain expressway with a bridge-to-tunnel ratio of 40.6%. The completion of Wulingtou Tunnel, the second longest tunnel in the province, marks the accomplishment of the entire tunnel construction project of Wuhuang.
Regarding the problems of construction material shortage and the consequent soaring price, party members in the group took the lead in carrying out the special task of "processing and recycling tunnel slag". Cave slag with suitable lithology is recycled and processed into high-quality sand, while the rest is used for roadbed filling.
With the length of 2.61 km, the Huihe bridge is a crucial point in Gubeng expressway project. As its main bridge is the first composite beam tied arch bridge in Anhui freeways, and its approach bridge is made of steel plate composite beam structure, the overall technical requirement is specially high.
"In order to avoid the impact of the flood season, we mobilized all resources in the first half of last year and thus successfully completed the bridge piers and columns before the flood season, which means that the safety of the bridge during the flood season is guaranteed. " Said Gubeng Expressway project office director Fang Tao.
According to Sun Kuangbiao, project office director of Chizhou to Shitai section of Chiqi Expressway, personnel of the project office all devoted considerable amounts of time and energy into to construction in order to achieve the "expressway for every county" goal. The current plan for the Chizhou to Shitai section is to finish the waterproofing of roadbed by this March, the main part of tunnels by April, the cement stabilized base course by June, and housing construction projects including interchange and service areas by August.
The expressway network of Anhui to be further improved
During the period of 13th Five-Year Plan, Anhui kicked off the construction projects of 37 expressways with the total length of 2,228 km, 12 of which have already been accomplished. By the end of 2020, the total length of expressways open to traffic has reached over 4,900 km. The expressway network now covers the downtown area of 93% of all counties and districts, 83% of villages with more than 50,000 residents, and 69% of national key towns. The province plans to connect all counties with expressways by 2025.