URUMQI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The first expressway in Kashgar prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region opened to traffic on Tuesday, with the local government expecting it to boost the economy of Xinjiang's underdeveloped southern region.
The expressway, which links Kashgar with Yecheng county, took two years to build at a cost of 3.64 billion yuan (577.9 million U.S. dollars), according to the local government of Kashgar.
Over the next three years, an expressway network connecting Kashgar's cities and counties will be completed, local government officials said.
Xinjiang's fixed-asset investment in the transportation sector reached 35.5 billion yuan in 2011, up 43 percent year-on-year. The region will continue its heavy investment in 2012, planning to spend another 30 to 35 billion yuan in the sector.