New expressway links Beijing, Urumqi

Workers have completed building the main structure of a new expressway linking Beijing and Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The Beijing-Xinjiang Expressway is the second major expressway connecting Xinjiang and other areas, following the Lianyungang-Horgos Expressway. It is expected to begin operation in phases starting at the end of this year.

On Thursday afternoon, workers finished building the main structure of the expressway's last section, which spans 515 km and lies entirely within Xinjiang, according to Da Wenbin, board chairman of Xinjiang Beijing-Xinjiang Expressway Co Ltd under China Railway Construction Investment Group Co Ltd.

The section passes through pastures where wild animals abound. To mitigate the impact on the environment, authorities built more than 60 wildlife crossings when building the project.

The Beijing-Xinjiang Expressway stretches over more than 2,500 km, and passes Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Gansu, before reaching Xinjiang.