JINAN, Nov. 14 -- Nearly one billion yuan (around 160 million U.S. dollars) has been spent on one section of the ancient Grand Canal in east China's Shandong Province, said a local official on Thursday.
济南11月14日 - 山东省(位于中国东部)一位地方官员周四表示,古老的京杭大运河山东段已经投入使用了近10亿人民币(约1.6亿美元)。

In the last five years, renovation of the waterway and its environs have meant villagers were relocated in preparation for a world heritage status application, said Xie Zhixiu, deputy head of Shandong provincial cultural department.

The Chinese government is applying for world heritage status for the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, 1,794 km long and with a history of more than 2,400 years. It passes through eight provinces and municipalities and some 35 cities.

Shandong government has promulgated a special protection regulation for its section of the canal, said Xie. The Shandong section is 643 km long with 15 potential heritage sites. An UNESCO team surveyed the Shandong section in September.

The World Heritage Committee will announce their decision next year.