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Wireless mesh networks (WMNs) have emerged as a key technology for the next-generation wireless networking. Due to infrequent topology change and unreliable wireless links, a fundamental problem arisen is how to form an optimal topology to meet the traffic requirement. In this paper, we propose a joint optimization design on topology formation and traffic routing, which is formulated as a linear binary programming (LBP) problem. Since LBP is difficult to solve except for very small-size problems, we provide an efficient approximation method based on the decomposition method. Numerical results show that our approximation method not only obtains a very good performance, but also it reduces the number of network interfaces required by mesh nodes. Moreover, our approximation method significantly reduces the computation complexity and is capable of providing solution to practical problems when mathematical packages cannot offer a feasible solution.