Mon, Dec 01, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Taipei urged to move gondola pillar

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taipei City Public Works Department employees work to shore up the damaged foundation of Tower No. 16 of the Maokong Gondola system yesterday.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES

A damaged support pillar on the Maokong Gondola system in Taipei’s Muzha (木柵) area should be relocated and the slope where it is located reinforced to prevent further erosion, four civil engineering associations said yesterday.

Based on the engineers’ advice, the Public Construction Commission said yesterday the reinforcement work on the site and the damaged pillar, known as Tower No. 16, must be completed before the next monsoon season.

The safety report was filed yesterday by four engineering associations after a one-month assessment of the site.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday that the city government would propose a planfor the gondola system after taking in account safety, the feasibility of construction work and available budgets.

Hau indefinitely suspended the gondola system’s operations on Oct. 1 after city councilors raised safety concerns because of the erosion around Tower No. 16.

The foundation of the tower had been damaged by flooding during a spate of typhoons. The base of the tower caved in after a landslide swept down the slope and into a nearby residential area in late September.

Engineering consultants found a 1.8m high hollow on the slope where the tower is located.

Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文), commissioner of Taipei’s Department of Economic Development, said the city had allocated NT$50 million (US$1.51 million) over the next six months to shore up the slope.

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