The Yuli-Qiemo highway, a life road crossing the Taklamakan Desert, which is the world's second-largest shifting sand desert and dubbed the "sea of death", is about to open to traffic in this June.
The CCCC-invested-and-built Urumqi-Yuli Highway PPP project in Xinjiang Urumqi Autonomous Region is the largest of its kind under construction in China. With a total length of 1,305 kilometers, the project is composed of five parts including Urumqi-Yuli, Yuli-35 Regiment, 35 Regiment-Ruoqiang, Yitimbulak-Ruoqiang, and Yuli-Qiemo sections.
The 333-km-long Yuli-Qiemo Highway traverses the desert with a length of about 300 kilometers, and it is the longest desert highway under construction in the world with the largest shifting range of sand dues, the severest construction conditions, and the greatest construction difficulty.
Cotton grows in the Tarim River area, however, it's inconvenient for people to sell it to the other regions due to the lack of roadways. After the opening-to-traffic of the desert highway, the travel time between Qiemo County and Korla City will be shortened from 12 hours to 6 hours, and there will be no need to detour. Therefore, the desert will be not only a hot travel line, but also people's road to happiness in the southern part of Xinjiang.