On the afternoon of December 10, Huai'an municipal government held a press briefing to release the information of Huai'an high-speed railway and inner ring elevated expressway open to traffic. After the opening of the railways and elevated expressway, the traffic infrastructure of the whole city will be greatly improved, thus providing a more powerful guarantee in transportation for building a moderately prosperous society at a high level and in an all-round way.
Huai'an to Enter High-speed Rail Era
The total length of Xuzhou-Suqian-Huai'an-Lianyungang Railway is 314 km, including a length of about 82 km in Huai'an. Lianyungang-Yangzhou-Zhenjiang Railway is 305 km with a length of 80 km or so in Huai'an. The construction of the two railways with a design speed of 250 km/h were started in December and September of 2015 respectively. The project of the square of Huai'andong Railway Station was completed in July 2018, and the track laying and communication engineering, signal engineering, power engineering and electrification engineering were carried out in the second half of 2018. The static acceptance work was implemented in July 2019, and the alignment joint-test started in September. At present, the trial operation has been completed and the two railways will officially open to traffic in the middle of this month.
Before December 30, trains only run in the section of Yancheng-Xuzhou Railway and Lianyungang-Huai'an-Xuzhou Railway. On December 30, after the adjustment of national railway routes, the two will be officially included in the national network. The timetable will be released two to three days before official operation.
The completion of Xuzhou-Suqian-Huai'an-Lianyungang Railway and Huai'an section in the Lianyungang-Yangzhou-Zhenjiang Railway is of special significance to Huai'an. As the first high-speed railway built in Northern Jiangsu, Xuzhou-Suqian-Huai'an-Lianyungang Railway will greatly shorten the time to travel from Huai'an to other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Changsha, Chengdu, and Chongqing, and accelerate the integration of Huai'an into the key strategies of the Belt and Road Initiative, Yangtze River Delta Integration, Huai River Eco-economic Zone, and Bohai Economic Rim. Thus, it will play an important role in promoting the regional harmonious development. Huai'an is one of the important transfer junctions on the national railway network. The two railways intersecting at Huai'an will effectively improve the service level for railway passengers, optimize the structure of regional road network, and further consolidate and improve the status of Huai'an as a regional comprehensive transportation hub in the whole province and even the Northern Yangtze River Delta. Huai'an is a well-known city of rich Chinese history and culture and with the reputation as "the transitional city from water transportation to land transportation and the thoroughfare to nine provinces". After the high-speed railways open to traffic, it will bring countless flows of passengers, business, capital, information, technology, etc. At the same time, the opening of the railways will stimulate tourism and ease commercial and academic visits to Huai'an. Huai'an' s pace of integration into the high-speed railway economic circle and tourism circle will be further accelerated.
Huai'an to Enter Three-dimensional Transportation Era
Inner ring elevated expressway is an urban traffic construction project with the largest investment since Huai'an was establish. Composed of "one ring, two directions and one joint", it is arranged along six roads, including Huanghe Road, Xi'an Road, Yan'an Road, Yingbin Avenue, Ninglian Road and No.233 National Road, with a total mileage of 48 km and a total investment of 16.5 billion yuan. The overall construction of the project adopts the elevated form. The main road and auxiliary roads are designed according to the standard of urban expressway and urban arterial road respectively. There are 6 large-scale interchanges, 37 pairs of on and off ramps, 2 entrance and exit ramps of the high-speed railway station, 1 double-layer steel arch bridge, and 1 drop off platform of the high-speed railway station. The inner ring elevated expressway strides over Xinyi-Changxing Railway twice, and intersects with 106 urban roads.
Such a huge project is also unprecedented in the transportation construction history of Huai'an. On February 14, 2016, Huai'an municipal Party committee and municipal government handed over the project of inner ring elevated expressway to the Huai'an municipal transportation department. On October 26 the same year, the construction of the pilot section was firstly started. The project was fully started in March 2017, and now it is about to be completed and opened to traffic. It took about three years to realize the expected goal. On December 15, 2019, the urban inner ring elevated expressway will be opened to traffic, which marks the beginning of a three-dimensional transportation era for Huai'an. It will also play an important role in improving Huai'an urban traffic pattern. For example, it will optimize the urban road network, strengthen travel efficiency, relieve traffic pressure in central urban areas, and speed up the construction of important junctions between functional areas, central urban areas and high-speed railway station. Moreover, it effectively connects the transportation in the center of Huai'an to that in suburbs. This expressway consolidates the position of Huai'an as a key city in Northern Jiangsu and therefore, is a fundamental project of nationwide significance and with long-term impact.