The Yuli-Qiemo section of the Urumqi-Yuli highway in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region was completed on Sept 24, laying a solid foundation for the scheduled operation of the highway in 2021.
Located in Xinjiang's Bayingolin Mongolian autonomous prefecture, the section starts from Yuli county in the north, crosses the Tarim River – China's longest inland river – and ends at Qiemo county in the south.
It is the third north-south route running through China's largest desert, the Taklimakan, also known as "the Sea of Death", after the Luntai-Minfeng and Aksu-Alear-Hotan highways.
Invested by China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC), the highway was contracted by the CCCC Third Highway Engineering Co., Ltd.
As it was built through the desert, lack of water, electricity and communication signals was a great obstacle in the construction. Difficult transportation in the sand, high temperature and sandstorms added to the engineering difficulties.
To build the highway, builders bulldozed 32 huge sand hills and filled up 28 depressions to create level ground.
Once operable, travel time between regions along the highway will be greatly shortened, lowering living costs of residents in affected areas and making it easier for them to transport agricultural products to market.
What's more, the Tarim Basin the highway runs through is home to rich oil and gas resources. The completion of the highway will support their exploration, development and transportation, which will promote social and economic development in south Xinjiang.
The Yuli-Qiemo highway is the third north-south route running through China's largest desert, the Taklimakan. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
Thirty-two huge sand hills were bulldozed and 28 depressions between hills were filled up to build the highway. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
The Yuli-Qiemo highway is expected to contribute to oil and natural gas exploration and transportation in the Tarim Basin when it opens to traffic as it runs through the rich petroleum area. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)