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Beijing was first linked to outside areas by the Jingshi Expressway in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now, nine expressways link Beijing, and more are to come.

History

When the Airport Expressway and the Jingjintang Expressway opened, Beijing was already been griped by "expressway fever". Out in the far eastern part of town lay a nearly universally neglected Jingha Expressway; only with the construction of the Jingtong Expressway in the mid 1990s did the Jingha Expressway get more recognition. It still is too far out of central Beijing to be recognised as an important express roadway.

By the People's Republic of Chinamarker's 50th anniversary, however, expressways were closing on into Beijing. One by one, the Badaling Expressway, Jingshen Expressway and (in 2000) the Jingkai Expressway locked in onto central Beijing as a target. Beijing was now encompassed with eight expressways.

In 2001, a new northern gate burst open, forming the Jingcheng Expressway. The northeastern and southeastern parts are ready to accommodate two more expressways (the Jingping/Jingji and Northern Jingji Expressways, respectively).

Development

Being the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing has ambitious plans to develop everything -- and expressways are no exception.

Four years before 2008, the municipal government came out with a plan to complete up to 890 km of expressways (277 km alone in 2006). By 2006, the massive 6th Ring Road would be completed. Also in that year, a major batch of expressways would be completed.

The web of expressways around Beijing would amount to as many as 15 expressways (Jingping/Jingji, Northern Jingjin, Southern Jingjin, 2nd Airport Expressway, Northern Airport Expressway and Litian Expressway, plus the nine expressways of today). Of these, 11 would radiate from central Beijing.

Grander plans

In early January 2005, mainland authorities revealed an even grander plan for seven national expressways originating from Beijing. Amongst those included an expressway bound straight for Taiwanmarker.

The expressways include:



After the "Three Links" come into effect, the projected 85,000 km of mainland expressways will have a link, possibly by tunnel, to Taiwanmarker and all expressways on the island.

The nine expressways

Nine toll expressways link Beijing to its suburbs, outlying regions, and other cities.

Badaling Expressway

The Badaling Expressway connects Beijing to the Badalingmarker section of the Great Wall of China. It runs from Madian to Badaling and Yanqing for a total of nearly 70 kilometres. Parts of the expressway run through hilly terrain.

Route: Madian (N. 3rd Ring Road) - Jianxiang (N. 4th Ring Road) - Shangqing (N. 5th Ring Road) - Huilongguan - Beianhe - Shahe - Baige (N. 6th Ring Road) - Changping Districtmarker - Nankou - Badalingmarker - Yanqing - Jingzhang Expressway

Speed Limit: 100 km/h, hilly portion 60 km/h

Tolls: As of 5th Ring Road, heading northwest

Jingcheng Expressway

The Jingcheng Expressway runs to Chengdemarker and is currently completed from the northeastern 3rd Ring Road through to Gaoliying for 23 kilometres. It is one of Beijing's newest expressways. The entire expressway is slated for a 2006 completion.

Route: Taiyanggong Bridge (N. 3rd Ring Road) - Wanghe Bridge (N. 4th Ring Road) - Laiguangying (N. 5th Ring Road) - Huanggang - Yandan - Gaoliying (N. 6th Ring Road)

Speed Limit: 100 km/h throughout

Tolls: As of Jingcheng Rd. Toll Gate, heading north

Airport Expressway

The Airport Expressway to Beijing Capital International Airportmarker runs for under 20 kilometres and is one of the most heavily-used expressways in Beijing. Despite this, traffic jams seem to be incredibly rare. However, Beijing authorities are planning two more expressways to link to the airport.

Route: Sanyuanqiao (N. 3rd Ring Road) - Siyuan Bridge (N. 4th Ring Road) - Dashanzi - N. 5th Ring Road - Beigao - Yanglin Road - Xiaotianzu Road - Beijing Capital International Airportmarker

Speed Limit: Maximum 120 km/h throughout (left lane only, others 100 km/h)

Tolls: As of Beigao, heading northeast

Jingtong Expressway

The Jingtong Expressway runs through to Tongzhou District for approximately 15 kilometres. It has no numbered expressway exits (except for one at the very beginning in central Beijing) and functions mainly as a city express route.

Route: Dawang Bridge - E. 4th Ring Road - Gaobeidian - E. 5th Ring Road - Shuangqiao - Huicun - Tongzhou or Ximazhuang and Jingha Expressway

Speed Limit: 100 km/h throughout as of Gaobeidian until Huicun, otherwise 80 km/h

Tolls: As of Shuangqiao, heading east

Jingha Expressway

The Jingha Expressway was planned to run to Harbinmarker, but has apparently been abandoned as of Yanjiao, Hebeimarker. It is a short and rather old expressway.

Route: Beiguan Roundabout - E. 6th Ring Road - Baimiao - Yanjiao - China National Highway 102

Speed Limit: 90 km/h throughout

Tolls: As of E. 6th Ring Road, heading east

Jingshen Expressway

The Jingshen Expressway to Shenyangmarker runs for 658 kilometres and is one of the longest expressways to leave Beijing.

Route: Sifang Bridge (E. 4th Ring Road) - Wufang Bridge (E. 5th Ring Road) - Bailu Toll Gate - E. 6th Ring Road - Xianghe (Hebeimarker) - Baodi (Tianjinmarker) - Yutian - Lulongmarker - Beidaihemarker Area - Shanhaiguanmarker - Shenyangmarker

Speed Limit: 110 km/h throughout (Tianjin section: 120 km/h)

Tolls: As of Bailu Toll Gate, heading east

Jingjintang Expressway

The Jingjintang Expressway (or Jingtang Expressway) heads for Tianjinmarker and Tanggu. However, due to the heavy onslaught of lorry traffic, it can get jammed up at times.

Route: Fenzhongsi (E. 3rd Ring Road) - Shibalidian (E. 4th Ring Road) - Dayangfang (E. 5th Ring Road) - Toll Gate - Majuqiao (E. 6th Ring Road) - Caiyu - Langfangmarker - Yangcun - Yixingbu - Central Tianjinmarker - Tianjin Airport - Tanggu

Speed Limit: 110 km/h throughout (except for the start in Beijing - 70 km/h or 80 km/h)

Tolls: As of Dayangfang Toll Gate, heading south-east

Jingkai Expressway

The Jingkai Expressway heads for Kaifengmarker, but is interrupted as of Yufa, Beijing, where the Beijing section ends. It continues as China National Highway 106.

Route (Beijing section): Yuquanying (E. 3rd Ring Road) - Xinfadi - Majialou (E. 4th Ring Road) - Toll Gate - 5th Ring Road - Daxing - Huangcun (E. 6th Ring Road) - Panggezhuang - Yufa - China National Highway 106

Speed Limit: 80 km/h before the toll gate at Xihongmen, 110 km/h afterwards

Tolls: As of Xihongmen Toll Gate, heading south

Jingshi Expressway

The Jingshi Expressway to Shijiazhuangmarker is one of the oldest expressways in Beijing. In fact, it was China's first completed expressway.

Route: Liuliqiao (W. 3rd Ring Road) - Yuegezhuang (W. 4th Ring Road) - Xidaokou - W. 5th Ring Road - Dujiakan Toll Gate - Zhaoxindian - Daxing - Liangxing (Fangshanmarker) - 6th Ring Road - Doudian - Liulihe - Hebei Toll Gate - Zhuozhoumarker - Dingxing - Baojin Expressway - Baodingmarker - Shijiazhuangmarker

Speed Limit: 110 km/h throughout Beijing section, 120 km/h thereafter

Tolls: As of Dujiakan Toll Gate, heading southwest

Note: Tolls are not networked, and you need to pay again at the toll gate in South Beijing. However, tolls are networked with the 6th Ring Road.

Extended expressways

The nine expressways also indirectly become portions of other expressways.

The Badaling Expressway connects after Yanqing to Zhangjiakoumarker as the Jingzhang Expressway. Already as of Madian, it forms part of the Jingda Expressway.

The Jinghu Expressway becomes an independent expressway after Tianjinmarker.

The Jingshi Expressway forms part of the very long Jingzhu Expressway.

Alternate names

The Badaling Expressway is sometimes referred to as the Jingchang Expressway, as the first stage of the expressway runs through Changping Districtmarker.

Projected expressways

Jingping Expressway

Current Status: Not yet constructed; in planning

Beijing's Pinggu Districtmarker so far is the only district without an expressway link. However, Beijing will soon build the Jingping Expressway to link to Pinggu.

This expressway is will also link to Jixian County in Tianjinmarker, which would also link to the Jinji Expressway, ultimately connecting Tianjinmarker City. Thus, this road is also known as the projected Jingji Expressway.

The expressway would start at Yaojiayuan Bridge on Beijing's 5th Ring Road and stretch for 69 kilometres. It would ultimately be connected to the eastern 4th Ring Road.

A tunnel is planned. The expressway would presumably be constructed in 2005, with a section opening in early 2006, and completion scheduled by early 2007.

Jingkai Expressway

Current Status: Jingkai Expressway from Yuquanying to Yufa open to traffic

In 2004, an additional 7 kilometres of the Jingkai Expressway was announced. Although specific details aren't clear right now, it may be the extension from Yufa into Gu'an in Hebeimarker province, which currently is part of China National Highway 106, but which many maps claim now to be already expressway.

Jingcheng Expressway

Current Status: Portion from N. 3rd Ring Road through N. 6th Ring Road open to traffic

A stretch to Miyunmarker has been trumpeted to be completed by the end of this year. These form Stage 2 of the Jingcheng Expressway. However, the construction work on the stretch to Miyun is rather slow, and a completion this year may be doubted.

Stage 3 will stretch to the outer confines of Beijing municipality.

Work on the Hebei stretch connecting it to Chengdemarker is also getting underway.

The remaining Beijing sections are 108.6 km in length (in total).

Airport Expressway

Current Status: Airport Expressway open to traffic

Two further routes, both of them being expressways, will link Beijing Capital International Airportmarker.

The Airport Northern Route from the Jingcheng Expressway will stretch 10.8 km to the airport.

A second airport expressway will stretch 23 kilometres. This second airport expressway would run between the eastern 5th Ring Road and the eastern 6th Ring Road, starting up north from the airport all the way through to the second Jingjin Expressway (bound for Tianjin).

Jingjintang Expressway

Current Status: Jingjintang Expressway open to traffic

The current Jingjintang Expressway is not only open to traffic, but also home to a huge load of traffic everyday. Should a traffic accident occur (and they do occur), rescue efforts would take quite a while.

Thus, both Beijing and Tianjin have approved the construction of two more expressways to Tianjinmarker.

The northern route shall leave Beijing at Tongzhou District and pass through Yangcun in Tianjin. A southern route shall also exist.

Both routes will stretch 35 kilometres each (at least in the Beijing sections).

Jingbao Expressway

Announced only in 2004, the Jingbao Expressway go for 25.9 kilometres in length in the Beijing area, reducing traffic load on the Badaling Expressway. The project, however, is difficult to tackle; its route must not disturb the Ming Tombsmarker.

Litian Expressway

Announced in September 2004 (but reaching already just one map in the summer), this expressway would serve as an eastern link from the Capital Airport to the northeastern 6th Ring Road. It would run along Litian Road, which currently is in existence. Litian Road would also get an improvement.

See also




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