BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- With the construction of its western section completed on Sunday, Beijing's Sixth Ring Road, China's longest city expressway, has been fully open to traffic, according to local communications department.
The western section linking Liangxiang and Zhaikou measured 38.28 kilometers and was the last phase of the Sixth Ring Road construction project which started in December 1998.
Measuring 187.6 kilometers long, the Sixth Ring Road accounts for more than one-fifth of the total mileage of Beijing's expressway and covers the city's most population, said sources with the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications.
The road connected with major outbound expressways and national highways would also allow Beijing residents much easier access to peripheral cities such as Chengde in Hebei Province and the suburban Pinggu county, they said.
As Beijing is a vital transportation terminal between northwestern China and the northern sea ports, the committee said that the Sixth Ring Road would not only ease downtown traffic pressure and improve the city's air quality but also facilitate passenger and cargo transportation from the north and the west to the east and the south.
A separate report from the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation of the National Development and Reform Commission has estimated that the benefits brought by the Sixth Ring Road in 20 years could reach 184.5 billion yuan, 10 times as much as its cost.
Moreover, reduced traffic pressure and tie-ups could help cut automotive exhaust by around three percent.