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Planes, trains and taxis - Shanghai's infrastructure takes off

The disruption is all worth it, honest

By Sam Crispin, Head of China Research, FPDSavills

Since the early 1990's, life and travel in the centre of Shanghai has been disrupted in various locations and at various times by construction, one after the other, of the Inner Ring Road, Metro Line 1, the North-South Elevated Highway, Yan'an Road Elevated Highway, Metro Lines 2 and 3 as well as other road widening work and infrastructure projects.

1999 should see the last of these major infrastructure works in the city centre completed. Benefits will be felt by all residents and will include an easing of air and noise pollution, reduced traffic chaos caused by their construction and smoother traffic flow following their completion.

With completion of many of the other major construction projects in the city centre during the year, Shanghai should be a much more pleasant place all round by the end of 1999.

Officials state that phase 1 of Metro Line 2 may be completed ahead of schedule. The 16.3 km line runs from Zhongshan Park in Puxi to Pudong's Longdong Road.

Work on Henan Road Station on Nanjing East Road will be completed at the end of 1999 and the section currently closed to traffic will be re-opened. Other stations are still under construction. Work on track laying and installation of electronic equipment has already started.

Shanghai Metro Corporation has signed a contract with Germany for the purchase of 210 cars including 66 for Metro Line 1 and the remainder for Metro Line 2 and Metro Line 3 (elevated light rail) to open before October 1999.

Construction of Metro Line 3 was approved by the State Council after construction had already started and, by making use of refurbished existing tracks, phase one is already well advanced. The line starts at Jiangwan Town in Hongkou District and runs south to the inner ring road before turning west, following the inner ring road and then heading south to Caohejing in Xuhui District. The total length of the line is 62 km, phase one is 24.97 km of which 21.45 km are above the ground and 3.52 km are at ground level. Phase 1 has a total of 19 stations, 16 of which are above ground. Phase one of the project will cost Rmb8.6 billion (US$1 billion).

Following the announcement in mid-1998 of the approval of Metro Line 3, work on Metro Line 4 will start in October 1999. The new subway will be 22 km long and have 17 stations. The line will run from the intersection between Baoshan Road and Qiujiang Road to Dalian Road, then cross under the Huangpu River to Dongfang Road in Pudong. It will then cross back to Puxi near the Nanpu Bridge to Xietu Road and finally intersect with Metro Line 3 near Shanghai Stadium. The project will cost Rmb15 billion (US$1.8 billion) and funds are now being sought whilst technical preparations have begun. The subway is due for completion in 2002.

Phase one of Pudong International Airport is in an advanced state of construction and should open to traffic by October 1, 1999. Appropriate flight path planning and adjustment between Hongqiao International Airport in Puxi and the new Pudong Airport is required to ensure the uninterrupted smooth operation of both airports.

So far, a 4,000-metre-long and 60-metre-wide runway has been completed in Pudong and construction of the main terminal building is well advanced. On completion of phase one, the airport will be able to handle 126,000 flights, 20 million passengers and 750,000 tons of cargo per annum.

Phase one of the project will cost an estimated Rmb12 billion, one third of which comes from the Municipal Government and two-thirds are from loans from the State Development Bank and the Japanese government. The airport is designed to have four parallel runways and 800,000 sq.m. of terminal buildings with a total capacity of 80 to 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo per annum.

Construction of the middle section of the elevated highway on Yan'an Road started last year. The new road will link the western and eastern parts of the highway from Hongqiao Airport to the Bund, so that the drive will take about 20 minutes compared to the tortuous journey of over an hour and a half just 2 years ago. To make room for the new road, 4,762 families and 305 businesses have been relocated. The middle section will be 5.5 km. long with 6 lanes on the elevated section and 8 lanes at ground level. On completion, Yan'an Road will have a capacity for more than 100,000 vehicles every 12 hours.

The first pedestrian tunnel under the Huangpu River, China's first cross river pedestrian tunnel, is now entering its final construction phase. The tunnel will connect the Bund area near Nanjing Road in Puxi with Lujiazui's riverside avenue in Pudong. The tunnel is 647 metres long with an inner diameter of 6.76 metres. Escalators will be installed in the tunnel to transport the passengers between two stations at either side of the tunnel. It will take 2.5 to 5 minutes to cross the tunnel and the project is expected to be completed by October 1999.

Major Infrastructure Developments

i) Road

Inner Ring Road

47 km road, partially elevated running around the main downtown area. Links Puxi and Pudong via the Nanpu and Yangpu Bridges.

Completed 1995. Relieves city centre arterial routes. Nanpu and Yangpu Bridges Part of Inner Ring Road Completed early 1990s. Chengdu Road / North-South Elevated Highway North-South arterial road running through the city centre. Completed 1995. Aids north-south traffic flow, increase accessibility of city centre and railway station area. Elevation of Yan'an Road East-West arterial road running through the city centre. First 2 phases complete, last phase due for completion in 1999. Eases east-west traffic flow and cuts journey time to Bund area, Hongqiao Airport and to Pudong from the city centre. Outer Ring Road Encircles Shanghai and links up with major highways to other provinces. Relieve traffic on Inner Ring Road.

ii) Rail / Metro

Metro and Light Rail Networks

A total of 7 metro lines planned and light rail tracks.

Line one opened in 1995, line two scheduled to open in 1999. Metro Line 1 From Railway station to Minhang Completed Metro Line 2 From Hongqiao Airport to Pudong Airport Fully operational 2000. Metro Line 3 Elevated Light Rail Line from Baoshan to Qingpu Fully operational 2000 Metro Line 4 Baoshan Road to Shanghai Stadium, via Pudong Fully operational 2002 New Railway Station Planned at Xinlonghua in Xuhui District. Under Planning. Railway Line in Pudong From Jinshan south of Pudong to Waigaoqiao No date set.

iii) Pedestrianisation

Nanjing East Road

Under construction

Phase 1 to be completed by October 1999. Planned to be completed within 3 years. Pedestrian Tunnel under Huangpu River Several tunnels are planned, crossing will take 14 minutes using conveyors. Ease pedestrian access from the Bund to 'Little' Lujiazui.

iv) Others

Pudong International Airport

Under construction in south east Pudong. Phase one to be completed in late 1999. Will contribute to shift in city towards the east.

Bund / Pudong Cable Car

To run from the Seagull Hotel to the TV Tower, crossing will take 7 minutes. Still at feasibility stage.

Source: FPDSavills Research

The effect that all this infrastructure development has on Shanghai's real estate markets remains to be seen. But with so much going on to bring Pudong 'into the fold' Pudong is the obvious winner from much of this investment. In particular the drive to the new airport takes about 45 minutes to an hour from central Puxi and this can be expected to draw companies and residents towards the east. Those interested in investing in real estate should fit their plans around the framework of new infrastructure now in place.


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