First a road, then the grass and the trees and then irrigation
China is building a third desert crossing cutting through the Taklamakan Desert. The Taklamakan aka Teklimakan or Taklimakan is China’s largest desert. It is made up of sand dunes that are ever shifting.
Third desert road crossing China’s largest desert & World’s second-largest shifting desert Taklimakan is constructed in NW China’s Xinjiang pic.twitter.com/Csituul8Ci
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) July 17, 2018
The shifting nature of the Taklamakan makes the whole construction project not just an engineering feat but also an eco-challenge.
A road through such a desert would be covered by shifting sands in no time. Besides building the road, an army of terraformers will plant vegetation on both sides of the road. Species of plants will be chosen for hardiness in an arid climate as well as ability to stand strong winds. Over long, these vegetation will sink their roots into the sand to firm the ground while their crowns will block strong winds that denude the surface. Oases may appear eventually.
Besides planting, infrastructure will built to irrigate these plants. People will be stationed and housed in the middle of nowhere to man and look after this infrastructure.