Wutong Mountain tunnel to be toll free
Tollgates of the Wutong Mountain Tunnel that connects Shenzhen and Yantian district will be scrapped. The cancellation of the tollgates will lower the costs for commuters and truck drivers who are traveling to Yantian port via the tunnel.
The cancellation of the tollgates is the result of almost eight years of negotiations between the Yantian Port Group and the Shenzhen government after buying 100 percent of the tunnel shares from its operators, wherein the Yantian Port Group paid around 550 million yuan and promptly transferred ownership the the Shenzhen government.
Before commuters and truck drivers drove over twenty minutes on a mountain road just to save a 10 yuan toll fee. Transport commission said almost 40,000 vehicles uses the tunnel to travel between Yantian and downtown Shenzhen, while 10,000 vehicles take the mountain route. When the cancellation of the tollgates is finalized, the mountain road will be converted to a greenway for hikers and bike enthusiasts.
During the first phase of the tunnel in 1987, the city government was the one that funded and operated the tollgates before selling it the tha Yantian Port Group in 1994. The second phase of the tunnel was then finished by the Yantian Port Group and sold 50 percent of the shares to a Hong Kong company in 1997.
In 2002 the tunnel caused a bottleneck in development prompting the city government to conduct negotiations with the operators offering to buy the tunnel. But failed negotiations between the government and the operators led the government to decide and build the Shenyan No. 2 Highway which now divert seventy percent of the traffic from the city.