||The principal objective of the Project is to promote economic growth in Xi'an Municipality by relieving transport infrastructure bottlenecks. The Project will develop an efficient, safe, and environmentally sustainable urban transport system, thereby (i) strengthening institutional capacity by improved coordination among municipal government agencies concerned, (ii) improving traffic management and safety, (iii) enhancing vehicle emission control, and (iv) expanding the capacity of urban roads. The Project comprises: (i) construction of a 71 km ring road, including interchanges, toll stations, and bridges, (ii) upgrading and construction of 16 km connector roads, integrating the ring road with the overall urban road network, (iii) urban transport component, including four elements - traffic management and safety, vehicle emission control, urban transport planning, and road maintenance; (iv) procurement of equipment for road maintenance, transport planning model, traffic signals and area traffic control center, vehicle emission inspection, compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations, toll collection, and surveillance and communications; (v) land acquisition and resettlement, and (vi) consulting services for construction supervision, urban transport component, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
In the context of rapid economic development, urbanization, and traffic growth, the present urban transport infrastructure and services cannot meet the increasing traffic demand in Xi'an Municipality. The present incomplete road network, low standard of transport infrastructure, low flow capacity at surface intersections, and slow vehicle speed contribute to traffic congestion, traffic accidents, and vehicle emissions. The main causes of urban traffic congestions are (i) inadequate road infrastructure facilities and services; (ii) poor management and maintenance of urban roads; (iii) poor public transport services; and (iv) institutional weakness. The consequent impacts of urban traffic congestion include (i) increased transport costs comprising vehicle operating costs and time, (ii) increasing air pollution due to vehicle emissions that pose serious health threats to urban residents, and (iii) increasing number and severity of road accidents due to poor driving practices, large traffic volumes, and narrow roads.
Consistent with the Xi an master plan, large investments are programmed for road construction, a subway system, and public transport operations. Clear and realistic priorities need to be set for future urban development. Policy and institutional reforms are needed in urban transport policy and regulations, public transport, traffic management and safety, road maintenance, vehicle emission control, driver education, urban poverty reduction, and private sector development. The master plan gives priority to the construction of the third ring road, which will form the main physical component of the Project. Construction of a ring road and connector roads will provide efficient and safe access within the city, and for inbound and outbound traffic. The Project will address the growing traffic congestion caused by the rapid increase in traffic, inadequate road infrastructure, and poor traffic management. The Project has been designed as a public service project because people in the urban area will all benefit from the Project directly or indirectly through reduced congestion in the urban road network as a whole. The project road users, therefore, will not be directly charged for its use.