All cities, prefectures in Xinjiang connected to expressway
URUMQI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- An expressway leading to Hotan opened Wednesday, connecting the last prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to modern transportation infrastructure.
The expressway linking Karakax County and Hotan stretches 74 km and is a sub-section of the G30 National Expressway, which links Lianyungang in east China with Horgos on the China-Kazakhstan border. Construction began in March 2015.
The expressway is 17 km shorter than the previous highway and slashes the travel time between the two places from two hours to just 40 minutes. It has a designed speed of up to 120 kph.
Hotan is located in southern Xinjiang, which is known for its hostile environment and complex geological conditions. The contractor said extra efforts were taken to overcome construction difficulties and protect the local ecosystem.
Hotan is also one of the poorest regions in China. "The opening of the expressway will improve traffic infrastructure and benefit the economic development of Hotan," said Zou Rong, deputy head of the prefecture's development and reform commission.