The World's Longest Highway In Desert
Tarim desert highway through the Taklamakan, China, and links the cities of Lantau Minfen. Full length of the highway is 552 km, of which about 446 km is built through uninhabited areas, with dunes up to 20 meters high, which is often covered highway.
In order to prevent encroaching dunes, rows of vegetation were planted on both sides of the road. Massive irrigation system was built to supply pumps water from underground storage tanks to feed an artificial ecosystem. Hundreds of workers were hired, their posts placed every four kilometers along the road to keep the vegetation in good condition. The water comes from wells, from the aquifer at a depth of 100 meters. Despite the high salt content in the water, the green belt along the road continues to thrive.
Within five years, the government has experimented with a variety of plants that can survive the desert conditions. In 1999 a pilot project zone forests along the 6.3-kilometer portion of the highway was completed. In 2001, the project has been extended until the 30.8-km stretch along the highway was planted forest. The project was finally approved by the state in 2003. Today, nearly four-fifths of the highway surrounded by plantings of 72 meters wide, covering a total area of more than 3,000 hectares.
In the Tarim Desert Highway great economic value, which explains why so expensive and elaborate measures were taken to save it. The highway was built in 1995 to serve the oil pipeline, which is under the Taklamakan desert. Under the shifting sands is the largest oil field in China Gas. Highway not only allows direct access to the resources that lie beneath the Tarim Basin, but also makes the transport of goods and resources from the Oil fields directly. Because the area is completely uninhabited, gas station and several restaurants have been built at an intermediate point along the highway to serve travelers.