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Greater transport facilities fuel city's growth

Updated: Oct 17, 2022 By Yuan Shenggao China Daily Print
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The construction site of the Zhanjiang undersea tunnel along the Guangzhou-Zhanjiang high-speed railway. [Photo provided to China Daily]

There was good news for people traveling from downtown Zhanjiang to Zhanjiang Wuchuan Airport as an expressway section opened to traffic on Sept 21.

The 5-kilometer section is part of the Zhanjiang airport expressway which extends about 25 km and is also a fast lane connecting the urban area to the airport economic zone.

The 401-km Guangzhou-Zhanjiang High-speed Railway, which allows bullet trains to run at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour, is expediting its construction as the major part of the undersea tunnel was finished in mid-September. The railway will begin to operate during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

In late March, Zhanjiang Wuchuan Airport opened to traffic.

It further promoted the city in Guangdong province to become a comprehensive transportation hub.

Zhanjiang has sped up to develop a modern transportation network focusing on large ports, roadways and aviation in the past decade. The city's investment in fixed transportation assets amounted to about 109.9 billion yuan ($15.47 billion) during the period, according to official statistics.

In terms of sea transportation, the city's port facilities have stepped up a level in the past 10 years.

The 400,000-dead-weight tonnage channel of Zhanjiang Port and 400,000-DWT bulk cargo terminal in the Xiashan port area were put into use in 2021.

Zhanjiang Port began 27 domestic container routes and 16 container lines connecting to regions such as Singapore and Malaysia by the end of 2021.

It offered navigation to more than 150 countries and regions by that time.

Xuwen Port's roll-on roll-off passenger and freight wharf started operation in 2020 and has facilitated traveling from Zhanjiang to Hainan Free Trade Port.

Regarding railway networks, the Jiangmen-Zhanjiang section of the Shenzhen-Zhanjiang High-speed Railway opened traffic on July 1,2018.

The Hepu-Zhanjiang High-speed Railway and Zhanjiang-Haikou High-speed Railway are now ready for construction.

In terms of air transportation, Zhanjiang Wuchuan Airport, one of Guangdong's four regional hub airports, offers traffic to more than 60 cities and benefits more than 15 million people in western Guangdong.

Transportation has advanced Zhanjiang's living environment over the past decade.

People can travel within downtown Zhanjiang in 15-20 minutes while the Leizhou Peninsula, where the city is located, realized a one-hour living circle.

According to the development planning of Zhanjiang's comprehensive transportation system for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), the city will improve its airports, high-speed railways, expressways and sea ports by the end of 2025.

Travel times between Zhanjiang and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Beibu Gulf will be within two hours by high-speed trains by 2025.

People will enjoy more convenient commutes in Zhanjiang which can also allow them to travel faster to other domestic and foreign regions by the end of 2035.

The city's position as a comprehensive transportation hub will become more prominent while the city's status as a regional freight hub will be consolidated by that time.

Improvement of Zhanjiang's transportation infrastructure will help to promote industrial upgrading, be it the port-based industrial cluster, the big data industrial park, or tourism based on coastal resources and intangible cultural heritage.

The city has attracted Baosteel Zhanjiang Iron and Steel and Zhongke (Guangdong) Refinery and Petrochemical and BASF's smart Verbund site, and has had many tourist destinations such as Loong Bay International Ocean Resort and Tianchengtai Resort linked with the traffic network in the past decade.

Large industrial projects have had a deep effect on the local economy and require more diverse professionals and technologies. The fast and convenient transportation system will help to reduce the cost of production and operation and enhance coordination and the certainty of economic development, experts said.

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