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Increased water level set for Zhenjiang section

11 December 2013
A ceremony was held on 10 December to mobilise Yangtze waterway workers involved in laying new buoys along what is known as the Taipingzhou Fast Lane. The project is scheduled to finish by 30 December. From then onwards, the minimum maintenance water level guaranteed by the Yangtze Waterway Bureau will be increased from 2.8 metres to 3.5 metres, allowing vessels of 3,000 dwt to sail all year round. At the moment, only 200 dwt vessels can sail throughout the year, while 500 dwt vessels do so on high tide.

The significance of the promise was underpinned by the attendance of senior officials at the ceremony including the city’s vice mayor Wang Changsheng, who also made a rallying speech.

The Yangtze trunkline splits into two in the Zhenjiang section: at Wufeng Mountain, the main stream goes northward while the other heads southward round Yangzhong Island until converging at Paozizhou. The 43.9km branch officially known as the Taipingzhou Fast Lane has been in its natural state until now. Once the new buoys are in place, major dredging will start to maintain the guaranteed water level of 3.5 metres.

Zhenjiang is part of the busiest stretch of the Yangtze River. The Taipingzhou Fast Lane is a short cut of nearly 20km. Yangtze officials say that dredging will eventually help reduce congestion at that particular section of the lower reaches.

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