LHASA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The first extradosed bridge in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region opened to traffic on Wednesday amid expectations that it will boost local tourism.
The 1.28-km-long Ngaqen Bridge above the Lhasa River in the eastern suburbs of the regional capital Lhasa, has six lanes and a 33-meter-wide roadbed, and is designed to accommodate vehicles at speeds of 60 km per hour.
Construction began on the bridge in March 2011. It cost about 370 million yuan (60.3 million U.S. dollars).
Soinam Lhamo, a resident of Ngaqen Township, said it used to take about an hour and a half to get to eastern Lhasa's Dagze County from Ngaqen as the journey required a detour via the Newu Bridge in the western suburbs of the city.
With the new bridge in use, it will only take 10 minutes to get to Dagze, said the Tibetan, who also voiced appreciation for the Tibetan-style design of the bridge.
It links a national highway and is expected to ease the pressure of traffic to downtown Lhasa and boost local tourism and freight transport, according to local officials.
An extradosed bridge employs a design that is a hybrid between a girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge.