Yeh sorry for another Wugu-Yangmei delay
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), head of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), apologized yesterday for the fourth postponed opening of the Zhongli section of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass due to unfinished construction and faulty work.
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
“Safety is always the top focus for the MOTC,” Yeh said.
Yeh apologized to President Ma Ying-jeou and his fellow Kuomintang (KMT) members for the delayed opening.
“The company that is in charge of the last part of construction is relatively inexperienced,” Yeh said, “and the National Expressway Engineering Bureau (NEEB) did not notice that before announcing that the construction would be finished on time.”
Yeh said that he has decided not to set a date for the opening of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass because he does not want the contractor to rush the work and risk shoddy workmanship.
According to Yeh, he will assign the political deputy minister to closely supervise the construction, in the hope that the overpass will be finished successfully.
“Building the Wugu-Yangmei overpass was a good thing,” Yeh said, “but the poor handling of the construction has turned this into a bad situation.”
Yeh also said that the overpass construction was actually 1 1/2 years ahead of the six-year plan the MOTC scheduled.
Director-General of the NEEB Tseng Dar-jen (曾大仁) also apologized to the public for the delayed opening of Wugu-Yangmei overpass.
Tseng said that there is definitely no problem with the structure of the overpass, and all the large constructions were also finished.
“The construction team is working on repairing the concrete flaws and completing the guard rails, which are the last two projects left,” said Tseng.
Tseng said that the overpass will not be opened to traffic until the flaws are repaired and inspections are conducted for the safety of the public.
The opening of the Zhongli section of Wugu-Yangmei overpass has been postponed four times for various reasons such as weather, staff shortages and repair issues. It was originally scheduled to be opened to traffic before Chinese New Year.
The Zhongli-Yangmei section of the overpass was opened to traffic last December.
The Wugu-Yangmei overpass, covering a total of 40 km with the overpass comprising 85 percent of the work, was built to ease congestion between Taishan (泰山) District and Yangmei on Freeway No. 1 during peak hours and weekends.