Chengdu's traffic flow—a source of constant frustration for city residents—is about to improve, say city planners.
A handful of large-scale road and transit construction projects this year is meant to facilitate better vehicular flow and offer an appealing mass-transit option in the form of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
A 13.1-km second layer will be added over the east half of the Second Ring Road, from the Jinjiang Bridge to the Fuhe Bridge in the north and linking the major nodes: North Railway Station, Shanban Bridge, Beixin Bridge, Renju Bridge, and Shuangqiaozi.
The second layer will be elevated 12 meters above ground level with a clearance level of at least 9 meters. With a maximum width of 28.5 meters, it will accommodate six lanes, each 3.5 to 3.75 meters wide.
BRT vehicles will run in the center lanes of the Second Ring Road Elevated Road. Passengers will pay their fare at ground level, and then pass through gates to escalators that transport them to the second layer. Ascending to the platform should require a maximum of 90 seconds, and because passengers pay before ascending to the platform, vehicle loading time will take 18 seconds on average.
The BRT system is regarded by transportation planners as more flexible and much more cost-efficient than other forms of high-speed mass transit, such as light rail and subways, which can cost up to six times as much to build and operate.
An investment of 3.42 billion yuan has been made for this project. Preparations for construction should be finished before March 28, and building should begin in April or May, with a target completion date in June 2013.
A spokesperson for the project told the West China City Daily reporter that the impact of the construction on Second Ring Road traffic flow "shouldn't be too big." At any given time, four lanes will be open.
First Ring Road
The six busiest intersections on First Ring Road will all be outfitted with flyovers or tunnels, and a second, elevated layer will be constructed over the entire eastern half of the Second Ring Road for the BRT. New pedestrian overpasses will also be constructed over the Third Ring Road. Construction costs for these six proejcts are estimated at 930 million yuan.
A 1.2-km underground passage will be constructed to connect the TCM University to Qingyang Zheng Jie.
A 405-meter, four-lane underground passageway will be constructed at Renmin Nan Lu and First Ring Road. The tunnel will accommodate both directions of traffic and will be constructed concurrently with Metro Line 3.
An 800-meter, four-lane flyover will link Fangling Lu and Dashi Xi Lu over the First Ring Road.
A 2280-meter, four-lane flyover will cross over Jiefang Lu, Xinbei Elevated Road, Renmin Bei Lu, and Wuding Lu.
An 860-meter flyover will be constructed over Fuqing Lu.
Traffic heading toward the First Ring Road will be diverted to a 650-meter flyover at Dong Da Jie, the building of which will be synchronized with Metro Line 6.
The First Ring Road is 19.4 km long and has 20 major intersections, 11 of which already have pedestrian overpasses and nine of which have intersections with traffic lights.
Third Ring Road and Beyond
Planners haven't forgotten about the Third Ring Road, either: The existing bridges will be widened to accommodate six lanes of traffic, and nine new onramps will be built as well. The two existing pedestrian overpasses will be torn down and two new ones constructed in their place.
Additionally, enhancements will be made to a number of expressways connecting Chengdu to various nearby cities, and the second runway at the Shuangliu Airport will be completed.
Steady progress on the Chengdu-Mianyang-Le Shan city rail as well as on the Chengdu-Chongqing dedicated passenger rail is underway.
Construction of two park-and-ride lots is also planned for this year.
Image source qq