When the Airport Expressway and the Jingjintang Expressway opened, Beijing was already being gripped by "expressway fever". Out in the far eastern part of town lay an unpopular Jingha Expressway; only with the construction of the Jingtong Expressway in the mid-1990s did the Jingha Expressway get more recognition. It still is too far out of central Beijing to be recognised as an important express roadway.
By the People's Republic of China's 50th anniversary, however, more expressways were being built in Beijing. The Badaling Expressway, Jingshen Expressway and (in 2000) the Jingkai Expressway were built. Beijing now had eight expressways.
In 2001 the Jingcheng Expressway was built. The northeastern and southeastern parts are ready to accommodate two more expressways (the Jingping/Jingji and Northern Jingji Expressways, respectively).
In 2004, the municipal government made a plan public complete up to 890 km (550 mi) of expressways (277 km (172 mi) in 2006). By 2006, the 6th Ring Road would be completed. Also in that year, a major batch of expressways would be completed.
The expressways around Beijing total 15 (Jingping/Jingji, Northern Jingjin, Southern Jingjin, 2nd Airport Expressway, Northern Airport Expressway and Litian Expressway, plus the nine expressways of today). Of these, 11 would radiate from central Beijing.
In early January 2005, mainland authorities revealed a plan for seven national expressways originating from Beijing. Amongst those included an expressway bound straight for Taiwan.
The expressways include:
Nine toll expressways link Beijing to its suburbs, outlying regions, and other cities.
The Badaling Expressway connects Beijing to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. It runs from Madian to Badaling and Yanqing for a total of nearly 70 kilometres. Parts of the expressway run through hilly terrain.
Route: Madian (N. 3rd Ring Road) - Jianxiang (N. 4th Ring Road) - Shangqing (N. 5th Ring Road) - Huilongguan - Beianhe - Shahe - Baige (N. 6th Ring Road) - Changping District - Nankou - Badaling - Yanqing - Jingzhang Expressway
Speed Limit: 100 km/h (62 mph), hilly portion 60 km/h (37 mph)
Tolls: As of 5th Ring Road, heading northwest
Current Status: Completed The S11 Jingcjheng Expressway starts at Taiyanggong Bridge on the 3rd Ring Road.
The entire expressway opened late 2009/early 2010, with a total length of about 210 km (130 mi).
This expressway is part of the larger Daguang Expressway.
The Airport Expressway to Beijing Capital International Airport runs for under 20 kilometres and is one of the most used expressways in Beijing. Beijing authorities are planning two more expressways to link to the airport.
Route: Sanyuanqiao (N. 3rd Ring Road) - Siyuan Bridge (N. 4th Ring Road) - Dashanzi - N. 5th Ring Road - Beigao - Yanglin Road - Xiaotianzu Road - Beijing Capital International Airport
Speed Limit: Maximum 120 km/h (75 mph) throughout (left lane only, others 100 km/h (62 mph))
Tolls: As of Beigao, heading northeast
The Jingtong Expressway runs through to Tongzhou District for approximately 15 kilometres. It has no numbered expressway exits (except for one at the very beginning in central Beijing) and functions mainly as a city express route.
Route: Dawang Bridge - E. 4th Ring Road - Gaobeidian - E. 5th Ring Road - Shuangqiao - Huicun - Tongzhou or Ximazhuang and Jingha Expressway
Speed Limit: 100 km/h (62 mph) throughout as of Gaobeidian until Huicun, otherwise 80 km/h (50 mph)
Tolls: As of Shuangqiao, heading east
Route: Sifang Bridge (E. 4th Ring Road) - Wufang Bridge (E. 5th Ring Road) - Bailu Toll Gate - E. 6th Ring Road - Xianghe (Hebei) - Baodi (Tianjin) - Yutian - Lulong - Beidaihe Area - Shanhaiguan - Shenyang
Speed Limit: 110 km/h (68 mph) throughout (Tianjin section: 120 km/h (75 mph))
Tolls: As of Bailu Toll Gate, heading east
Route: Fenzhongsi (E. 3rd Ring Road) - Shibalidian (E. 4th Ring Road) - Dayangfang (E. 5th Ring Road) - Toll Gate - Majuqiao (E. 6th Ring Road) - Caiyu - Langfang - Yangcun - Yixingbu - Central Tianjin - Tianjin Airport - Tanggu
Speed Limit: 110 km/h (68 mph) throughout (except for the start in Beijing - 70 km/h (43 mph) or 80 km/h (50 mph))
Tolls: As of Dayangfang Toll Gate, heading south-east
Route (Beijing section): Yuquanying (E. 3rd Ring Road) - Xinfadi - Majialou (E. 4th Ring Road) - Toll Gate - 5th Ring Road - Daxing - Huangcun (E. 6th Ring Road) - Panggezhuang - Yufa - China National Highway 106
Speed Limit: 80 km/h (50 mph) before the toll gate at Xihongmen, 110 km/h (68 mph) afterwards
Tolls: As of Xihongmen Toll Gate, heading south
Route: Liuliqiao (W. 3rd Ring Road) - Yuegezhuang (W. 4th Ring Road) - Xidaokou - W. 5th Ring Road - Dujiakan Toll Gate - Zhaoxindian - Daxing - Liangxing (Fangshan) - 6th Ring Road - Doudian - Liulihe - Hebei Toll Gate - Zhuozhou - Dingxing - Baojin Expressway - Baoding - Shijiazhuang
Speed Limit: 110 km/h (68 mph) throughout Beijing section, 120 km/h (75 mph) thereafter
Tolls: As of Dujiakan Toll Gate, heading southwest
Note: Tolls are not networked, and you need to pay again at the toll gate in South Beijing. However, tolls are networked with the 6th Ring Road.
The nine expressways also indirectly become portions of other expressways.
The Badaling Expressway is sometimes referred to as the Jingchang Expressway, as the first stage of the expressway runs through Changping District.
Current Status: Not yet constructed; in planning
Beijing's Pinggu District so far is the only district without an expressway link. However, Beijing will soon build the Jingping Expressway to link to Pinggu.
This expressway will also link to Ji County in Tianjin, which would also link to the Jinji Expressway, ultimately connecting Tianjin City. Thus, this road is also known as the projected Jingji Expressway.
A tunnel is planned. The expressway would presumably be constructed in 2005, with a section opening in early 2006, and completion scheduled by early 2007.
In 2004, an additional 7 kilometres of the Jingkai Expressway was announced. Although specific details are not currently clear, it may be the extension from Yufa into Gu'an in Hebei province, which currently is part of China National Highway 106, but which many maps claim now to be already expressway.
Current Status: Airport Expressway open to traffic
Two further routes, both of them being expressways, will link Beijing Capital International Airport.
The Airport Northern Route from the Jingcheng Expressway will stretch 10.8 km (6.7 mi) to the airport.
A second airport expressway will stretch 23 km (14 mi). This second airport expressway would run between the eastern 5th Ring Road and the eastern 6th Ring Road, starting up north from the airport and leading through to the second Jingjin Expressway (bound for Tianjin).
Current Status: Jingjintang Expressway open to traffic
The current Jingjintang Expressway is open to traffic but congested. This means that when traffic accidents occur, rescue efforts can be delayed.
Thus, both Beijing and Tianjin have approved the construction of two more expressways to Tianjin to ease congestion.
The northern route shall leave Beijing at Tongzhou District and pass through Yangcun in Tianjin. A southern route shall also exist.
Both routes will stretch 35 kilometres each (at least in the Beijing sections).
Announced only in 2004, the Jingbao Expressway go for 25.9 kilometres in length in the Beijing area, reducing traffic load on the Badaling Expressway. The project's route must avoid disturbing the Ming Tombs.