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Kunming begins metro construction, months of congestion on the way

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Construction work on Kunming's 1 and 2 metro lines officially commenced on Saturday, with bus stops and pedestrian overpasses being removed from Beijing Lu and Chuncheng Lu. Digging work is expected to severely disrupt traffic on these two important roads for months to come.

Bus authorities are recommending passengers taking bus routes K1 and 23, which connect northern Kunming with the main train station, to get on the bus 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to compensate for the slowdown.

Approximately 100,000 people take the K1 and 23 routes each day, with that number climbing to 120,000 on the weekend.

The flow of automobile traffic on Beijing Lu will be limited to one side of the road while digging and construction are done on the other side. In addition to the traffic jams predicted for Beijing Lu, surrounding streets are also expected to suffer from congestion.

No timetable for construction work on Beijing Lu or Chuncheng Lu has been provided.

Kunming metro lines 1 and 2 are expected to begin operations in late 2012 or early 2013. The total length of the first two lines is 42.1 kilometers. Line 1 will connect Xichang Lu with Chenggong and Line 2 will connect Kunming North Bus Station with Fubao.

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