The Council for Economic Planning and Development yesterday approved the NT$15.4 billion (US$522.57 million) Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋) project, which is expected to promote the development of Tamsui New Township (淡海新市鎮) and Tamsui District (淡水) in New Taipei City (新北市).
The project is scheduled to start immediately after the Cabinet approves it and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, council section chief Hsia Jia-cherng (夏家承) told reporters yesterday.
The government plans to expropriate the required land and decide on the design of the bridge before starting construction by mid-2017, Hsia said.
International design consortia are to be invited to bid for the design, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) section chief Jan I-shiang (詹益祥) said by telephone yesterday, adding that the government is interested in the design of Japan’s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Kobe.
The New Taipei City Government, the Ministry of the Interior and the MOTC are each to shoulder NT$4.7 billion of the cost of the project, while the New Taipei City Government is to pay the remaining NT$1.3 billion if it decides to build extra lanes for buses on the bridge, Hsia said.
The project was initiated in 1998, but the first version was unable to pass the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) in 1999. The Directorate-General of Highways altered the project in 2008, and it finally passed the assessment on June 19.