Artist’s conception of the ring road in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region.
Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, is expected to have a ring road opened by June this year to improve traffic and accelerate the city’s development.
With a planned investment of 11.3 billion yuan ($1.62 billion), the ring road is nearly 100 kilometers long, with seven tunnels and 27 bridges, according to the city government.
The road links Lhasa Gongkar Airport in the south and three highways. It also crosses over the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
After it opens, drivers will able to circle the city’s downtown area in just two hours at a maximum speed of 60 km per hour.
As Lhasa has an average altitude of 3,600 meters, the ring road has been dubbed “China’s highest ring road”. Construction started in October 2015, and the project is mostly complete. Part of the road has already opened for trial operation.
Lin Sheng, vice-mayor of Lhasa, said at a meeting on Jan 3 that the road is a milestone in the city’s development.
“By linking accesses to the city center in all directions, the ring road will greatly improve the city’s traffic network and ease congestion,” he said, adding that the road is expected to boost the city’s development and make travel more convenient.
Lodre, a villager from Lhasa’s Tsalgongthang township, said he is pleased to hear the news. Living about 10 km from Lhasa makes going to the city inconvenient due to heavy traffic, he said.
“I believe the new road will improve convenience and safety,” Lodre said.