Highway in the Mountains - The Western Yunnan Roads Development Project

Publication | September 2014

This issue features the Western Yunnan Roads Development project in the People's Republic of China, which was launched to connect the rural, mountainous areas of Western Yunnan to PRC's regional centers, as well as to the GMS. 

Yunnan's remoteness and lack of good road connectivity contributed to this poverty. To address this problem, the PRC and the ADB launched the Western Yunnan Roads Development Project in 2003.


  • Remoteness and an underdeveloped road network hampered mobility and economic growth in the remote yet biologically and culturally diverse province of Yunnan, the PRC.
  • In 2003, the PRC, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank, provided last-mile connectivity in Western Yunnan through a 77-kilometer expressway designed to overcome complex geological and safety challenges while protecting the natural environment.
  • The project has not only contributed to increased incomes in Yunnan, it also demonstrated how an expressway—when harmonized with the terrain and culture of the project site—can improve connectivity, employ advanced safety measures, and protect the environment.
  • The Yunnan Baolang Expressway Company's staff capacities in expressway design, construction, and operation were rigorously enhanced through training and knowledge application. These skills remain in use today as the staff were absorbed by the Yunnan Highway Development and Investment Company, which is responsible for ensuring high standards of road construction in Yunnan.

Additional Details

  • Transport
  • Roads and Highways
  • China, People's Republic of
  • ARM146835-2

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