Wugu-Yangmei overpass opening delayed
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The opening of the Zhongli section of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass has been postponed to the end of February, Transportation and Communications Minister Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) announced yesterday.
January 30, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The Wugu-Yangmei overpass was scheduled to be opened to traffic before Chinese New Year. However, its construction schedule has been delayed by factors such as weather and staff shortage, said Mao.
“The Zhongli section of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass will be finished around Feb. 9,” he said.
“Even though the schedule is delayed, this is still the achievement of many people's hard work.
“Everything must be completed according to regulations.”
The director-general of the National Expressway Engineering Bureau (NEEB, 國工局), Tseng Da-ren (曾大仁), said that the delay will not affect traffic flow during the holiday period.
As for safety concerns regarding cracks found on some sections of the overpass, Tseng said that they are only flaws in the road's concrete surface and do not affect the structure's overall integrity.
The Wugu-Yangmei overpass, the construction of which began in 2009, was to divide mid- and long-distance travelers from short-distance travelers. The Zhongli-Yangmei section was opened to traffic last December.
There will be no charge for freeway use from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. during this year's Chinese New Year holiday from Feb. 9 to 7, according to the NEEB.
Tseng said that the travel time from Taipei to Kaohsiung via the freeway during Chinese New Year could be controlled within six hours.
The NEEB has estimated that Feb. 12 will be the peak travel time during this nine-day Chinese New Year break, with around 2.9 million vehicles using the freeway system that day.
According to the bureau, high-occupancy vehicle regulations will be in effect for some sections of south-bound freeway lanes on Feb. 9 and on north-bound lanes on Feb. 13 and 14.
Extra Trains Scheduled
There will be an additional 54 trains scheduled to run on the East Coast during Chinese New Year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) announced yesterday.
Ticket reservation will be open to public through the TRA website and phone system and convenience stores at 9 a.m. on Feb. 1, according to the TRA.
The TRA said that the administration hoped to reach the goal of safely transporting all passengers to their destinations.
The TRA already added 604 additional trains to run Feb. 7 to 18. However, tickets for trains running on the East Coast during peak travel times of the Chinese New Year holiday were sold out the same day they were released on Jan. 22.