Across China: Improving infrastructure connects small city with outside world

Source: Xinhua| 2021-02-14 16:40:14|Editor: huaxia

XI'AN, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Driving on the expressway amid mountains and waterways, Lyu Fengjun remembers the days when he had to spend a whole day in the mountains to reach the county of Langao from the city of Ankang, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

"It was the 1970s, and we needed to ride in a seatless truck for an entire day to reach the county from Ankang," said Lyu, hailing from Ankang. "The truck traveled on the winding roads snaking through the mountains, and the drivers and passengers were always scared."

As there was no bridge, and the truck had to be transported via ship to get across the river, he said.

However, these days, improving infrastructure is helping connect locals with the outside world, with an expressway put into operation between Ankang and Langao at the end of 2020.

Ankang sits in the southern part of Shaanxi and features huge mountains and deep valleys. Locals have always dreamt of a convenient transportation system.

In the early 1980s, local officials decided to link Langao and Ankang and spent five years building a mountain road spanning a little more than 70 km, making transportation easier. For local people, expressways, high-speed trains and air travels seemed like a luxury.

As the country develops its western regions, new and better infrastructure started to be built in Shaanxi.

The opening of the Ankang-Langao expressway last year meant that all of the nine counties under the city of Ankang had expressways.

"The beautiful scenery along the expressway is both familiar and strange to me," Lyu said.

Last year, an airport also went into operation in Ankang. Local authorities are hoping to increase the number of air routes in the future.

Meanwhile, a high-speed railway is under construction, linking Ankang with the city of Xi'an, the provincial capital. With an investment of about 40 billion yuan (6.2 billion U.S. dollars), the railway has a designed speed of 350 kph and is expected to connect Ankang with the country's high-speed railway network in five years.

"It truly is getting more convenient these days," Lyu said. Enditem