China has started construction of a four-lane freeway that will form a key part of a central Asia highway network between Korla and Kuqa, in north west China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The section was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, the top planning body, an official from Xinjing Uygur autonomous regional bureau of communications said.
The freeway would cover 296.5 km at a budgeted cost of 4.02 billion yuan ($503 million).
The Asian Development Bank will lend $150 million and the Chinese government will pay 1.5 billion yuan ($187 million), while the rest is met by local governments.
Construction will take three years to complete and the road would be open by 2010.
In a comprehensive initiative on economic cooperation in Central Asia, the ADB listed the Korla-Kuqa freeway as a key investment project during 2006-2008.
International loans have become a main financing source for the construction of road networks in Xinjiang, China's largest region by area.
The World Bank had provided $600 million for building roads and upgrading rural roads in the region by the end of 2005.