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Transport links to see region rise to prominence

By Hao Nan (China Daily) Updated: 2020-09-18

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Zhanjiang in South China's Guangdong province is witnessing major progress in several key construction projects aimed at upgrading its transportation infrastructure facilities.

In Wuchuan, a county-level city, construction on the relocated Zhanjiang Airport has moved forward as planned.

The new airport is located 32 kilometers away from Zhanjiang's urban area and 38 km from the urban area of Maoming, a neighboring city of Zhanjiang.

In addition to mainly serving Guangdong's western areas, the airport is also designed for emergency rescue and general aviation activities.

When completed, the new airport will have a runway measuring 3,200 meters and a parallel taxiway of equal length, as well as 30 parking bays, a 61,800-square-meter terminal building and other supporting facilities.

It is scheduled to open in March 2022. By then, the airport, together with its supporting expressways and railways, will form a three-dimensional and integrated traffic network.

By 2030, the new airport's passenger and cargo throughput is expected to reach 5.1 million and 30,600 metric tons, with 47,400 takeoffs and landings annually.


The Zhanjiang section of the Yulin-Zhanjiang Expressway opens on Thursday. CHINA DAILY

The Zhanjiang section of the Yulin-Zhanjiang Expressway opened on Thursday, and significantly reduces the driving time between the two cities from four hours to an hour and a half. The expressway is one of nine channels linking Guangdong and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and boosts Zhanjiang's status as a central city in western Guangdong and a national integrated transportation hub.

The 100-km expressway (Guangdong section) has 10 exits and entrances that reach out to nearly every town and village passing by.

In northern Zhanjiang, the Tiaoshun Cross-sea Bridge project is also progressing smoothly. The bridge has a total length of 9.36 km.

Another major project is Xuwen Harbor, which is being built to become a key hub connecting Guangdong and Hainan provinces. The harbor is designed to have an annual handling capacity of 3.2 million vehicles and 17.28 million passengers.

Construction on the harbor started on Jan 1, 2017 and is expected to be finished for operation in October. When completed, Xuwen Harbor will become a first-class and one of the most functional passenger ro-ro ferry harbors in the world, with seamless connection to highways, waterways, railways and urban buses.

It is of great significance for serving the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port and promoting the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, local officials said.

Zhanjiang is also utilizing its geographical advantage as a port city to become a national hub for logistics. Related projects include a 400,000-ton waterway construction project of Zhanjiang Port, which is expected to be completed next year, and the upgrade of bulk cargo wharf in Xiashan harbor area.

Li Xi, Party secretary of Guangdong, said at a recent meeting in Zhanjiang that the city should seize opportunities brought by the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; the Shenzhen demonstration pilot zone for socialism with Chinese characteristics; and the Hainan Free Trade Port, and speed up construction of bullet train lines, airport, expressways, harbors and other infrastructure.

Li also called on Zhanjiang to enhance coordinated development with its neighboring Maoming and Yangjiang cities, and strengthen the rural revitalization strategy by focusing on planting and processing high-quality agricultural products such as pineapple, banana and mango.