30424-013: Shaanxi Roads Development

Project Data Sheet (PDS): Details


Description

The objective of the Project is to enhance economic development and reduce poverty in Shaanxi Province. The Project will (i) improve access of agricultural and industrial products to markets; (ii) improve access of rural population to economic opportunities, employment, and social services; (iii) attract investment by lowering transport costs in the Project area; and (iv) reduce congestion and accidents on the existing roads. The Project scope includes: (i) construction of about 176 km of four-lane access-controlled toll expressway between Yumenkou and Yanliang including interchanges with toll stations, connecting roads, ridges, administrative stations, and service areas; (ii) improvement of about 627 km of local roads servicing poor counties and townships; (iii) procurement of equipment for maintenance and management, toll collection, communications, construction quality control, traffic monitoring, and road safety; (iv) land acquisition and resettlement; and (v) consulting services for construction supervision, monitoring and evaluation, and training.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Despite the considerable investments in the road sector, the road network in the PRC is still inadequate, and does not provide efficient transport access to large parts of the country, particularly in the poorer inland regions, including Shaanxi Province. Better transport links are necessary to improve economic efficiency, foster domestic and international trade, facilitate interregional integration, and reduce poverty. The western PRC lacks high class road infrastructure in and out of the region, and among and within the provinces in the region. The development of the road network is needed to ensure that the impact of investments in transport infrastructure reaches poor areas and rural residents in the hinterlands, and that resultant economic and social benefits are widely spread. To enhance economic development and reduce poverty in the western part of PRC, the Government adopted the long-term Western Development Strategy, which will be the key theme of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-2005). The Strategy aims to reduce development disparities between the western region and the coastal region; and undertake environmental and ecological protection, and natural resources management. For the road sector, the Strategy aims to (i) facilitate economic development and poverty reduction in the western region, (ii) link the western region with the central and eastern regions, (iii) provide access to the trade outlets for the western region at the eastern and southern seaports, and (iv) promote regional cooperation with the neighboring countries to the west and southwest of the PRC. The proposed Project will be a part of the National Trunk Highway System in Shaanxi Province and will improve the access of Xi'an, Chengdu, and other cities in the poor western provinces to Beijing and the eastern and southern seaports.

Safeguard Categories

Environment: A
Involuntary Resettlement: A
Indigenous Peoples: C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

The environmental impact assessment concluded that there would be no major adverse environmental impacts provided the recommended mitigation measures are implemented. In addition to following ADB s Environmental Guidelines for Selected Infrastructure Development Projects, all applicable national, provincial, municipal, and local government laws, regulations, guidelines, and standards will be complied with during implementation and operation, in all civil works components. To ensure that environmental impacts of project construction and operation are minimized, the environmental monitoring program and mitigation measures, costing about $4.5 million equivalent, as specified in the EIA and the summary EIA, will be implemented. The main mitigation measures require that (i) appropriate countermeasures be taken to reduce noise for the residents near the alignment; (ii) preventive measures such as planting of trees and grasses, and construction of side ditches, torrent chutes, slope walls, and retaining walls be adopted to prevent soil erosion; and (iii) adverse impacts at borrow and spoil sites be mitigated through contracts containing environmental covenants and by supervising contractors during implementation. SPG authorities are enhancing their capacity for monitoring vehicle emissions. SXECL will monitor vehicle emissions on the expressway in cooperation with the local environmental protection bureau, traffic police, and other related organizations. Social issues included resettlement and poverty reduction impact. Land acquisition and resettlement impacts were minimized through the following actions: (i) aligning the expressway away from areas with high population densities and by avoiding historical sites; (ii) minimizing the acquisition of cultivated land, and occupying wasteland where possible; (iii) avoiding villages with lower per capita farmland; (iv) reducing the number of interchanges from 13 to 10; and (v) reducing the width of the expressway median. To strengthen the poverty reduction impact, three main features received particular attention: first, the expressway was designed with attention to social and poverty issues; second, the local road component was selected mainly on the poverty criteria; and third, the Project will maximize the use of poor people for the unskilled labor jobs during project construction.



Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

Project Data Sheets (PDS)

Timetable

Concept Clearance
13 Mar 1998

Fact-finding
27 Nov 2000 to 07 Dec 2000

Management Review Meeting
14 Feb 2001

Board Approval
30 Aug 2001

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