Construction started yesterday on a tunnel connecting Yangpu District and the Pudong New Area.
The four-lane Jiangpu Road Tunnel, comprising two separate tubes, will stretch 2.28 kilometers, connecting Jiangpu and Longjiang roads in Yangpu, and Minsheng and Shangcheng roads in Pudong.
The announcement was made by Shanghai SMI Highway Co, which is building the tunnel — the 17th beneath the Huangpu River. With total investment of 3.3 billion yuan (US5 million), the tunnel will open in 2020.
"The new tunnel is expected to relieve the traffic congestion in Yangpu as well as make the riverside areas in the district more accessible," said Liu Tao, SMI Highway's deputy general manager.
Yangpu has downtown's longest riverbank, which stretches for 15.5km, but currently only has three tunnels and a bridge to cross the river.
The average distance between the Dalian, Jungong and Xiangyin road tunnels as well as the Yangpu Bridge is about 5 kilometers, compared with a 2.6-km average distance for cross-river channels in downtown, according to the company.
"It has become a major challenge to drive across the river during morning and evening rush hours every day for residents in Yangpu," Liu said.
Traffic congestion occurred at Xiangyin Road Tunnel and Yangpu Bridge every day, he said, which also brought traffic jams to surrounding roads.
The new tunnel is part of the city government's plan to build more cross-river channels in north Shanghai. Another nearby new tunnel, the Zhoujiazui Road Tunnel, will be completed by 2019 to relieve the burden on Yangpu Bridge.
By 2020, the average distance between the cross-river tunnels and bridge in Yangpu will be shortened to 3 kilometers, the company said.
The major challenge to building Jiangpu Road Tunnel is that part of it must be built above another underground tunnel as well as the city's Metro lines 14 and 18. These underground projects will be constructed simultaneously, Liu said.
"It will become the most complicated underground project in Shanghai," he added.
To reduce the impact on nearby residents, the company will install noise barriers and water sprayers to control dust at all construction sites during the tunnel building, Liu said.