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Calls made to move damaged highway

06-21-2010 08:29 BJT Special Report: Rainstorm Batters Large Parts of China |

The Tiger Mouth, Section of National Highway G-213, a crucial thoroughfare in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been pummeled by landslides and floods several times in the last two months. As Yin Xiang reports, the hefty costs of repairing the damage are leading to some suggestions that the road should be rebuilt in a safer region.

CCTV reporter Yin Xiang said,"Behind me is a vital section of National Highway G-213. It was devastated by floods from the Minjiang River. The broken embankment has almost been fully rebuilt, but hazards loom nearby. As you can see, the river's current is very powerful, and it constantly pounds against the embankment. Workers constantly monitor the safety situation of this road."

Du Jianglin is in charge of ensuring safety along this vulnerable section of highway. The road has been reinforced by lining the banks of the Minjiang River with stone-cages and cemented tetrahedral to prevent flooding. The measure has ensured that two-way traffic can resume on the highway, but it has come at a hefty price.

Du Jianglin, safety superior of National Highway G-213 Tiger Mouth Section, said, "We've invested more than 12 million yuan into this section to repair the damage. The stone cages, cemented tetrahedrals, and steel pipes cost a lot. Each stone cage costs 3,000 yuan. It felt like we were tossing money directly into the river."

National Highway G-213 was built alongside the Minjiang River with mountain ranges and other geological structures on both sides. The environment surrounding the highway has been unstable since the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. Natural disasters -- including landslides, mudslides, and floods -- are a frequent occurrence, and often incur massive repair costs.

Feng Xuegang, general manager of Duwen Highway Company, said, "Since last year, we've invested 500 million yuan in various projects from our budgeted 700 million yuan. We have five stands to accommodate construction workers and heavy-duty machinery. When a natural disaster strikes, they are dispatched immediately to carry out repair work."

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