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Major breakthrough for tunnel to link Xuhui and Minhang

    The world's biggest box culvert machine began digging beneath the city's Middle Ring Road from Tuesday on a tunnel that will connect Xuhui and Minhang districts.

    The concrete box culverts, over 19 meters long and 6 meters tall, will be pumped into the soil beneath the ring road on Tianlin Road for the 1-kilometer-long tunnel. Once completed, the tunnel is expected to ease traffic congestion in the Caohejing area.

    Completion is anticipated at the end of 2018 and the tunnel will open to the public in March 2019 after decoration and equipment installation, according to STEC Shanghai Urban Construction Municipal Engineering Group.

    The tunnel, including an 86-meter section beneath the ring road, will have three vehicle lanes and two bicycle lanes. It has a designed speed of 40 kilometers per hour for vehicles, the group said.

    Drivers and pedestrians on Tianlin Road currently have to detour to parallel streets because the ring road cuts the road off, causing congestion, especially during rush hours. A large number of vehicles become jammed on nearby Yishan and Caobao roads during the morning and evening peak times every day.