Sun, Feb 06, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Millions enjoy sunny skies by packing freeways

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff reporter

Millions of motorist packed freeways across the country on the third day of the Lunar New Year yesterday, with northbound traffic especially heavy in the afternoon as families headed back to their homes in the north, while others took advantage of the warmer weather to sightsee.

Yesterday and today were expected to see the heaviest traffic, with the National Freeway Bureau estimating that as many as 3 million cars would use the freeways.

Southbound lanes on Freeway No. 1 saw heavy traffic in the early morning as families visited popular tourist attractions, including sections near Taoyuan’s Jhongli (中壢) and Dasi (大溪) and Hsinchu’s Hukou (湖口) and Jhubei (竹北), the bureau said.

On Freeway No. 3, between Sanying (三鶯) and Dasi, drivers encountered heavy traffic while inching along.

Traffic jams also occurred in many parts of the center of the island, including sections of Freeway No. 1 from Greater Taichung to the Changhua and Puyan (埔鹽) system interchange.

Sections of southbound lanes from Nangang (南港) to Shihding (石碇) and northbound lanes between the Hsuehshan Tunnel and Toucheng (頭城) on Freeway No. 5 were also heavily congested, the bureau said.

The bureau urged drivers to check traffic updates on its Web site (www.freeway.gov.tw) before hitting the roads.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau said that warm, sunny weather was expected to stay around for two more dayover most parts of the nation, with plenty of sun and high temperatures of up to 27°C in the south.

However, the weather bureau said that a 10°C temperature difference could be expected in the center and south, with chilly early mornings and late nights.

Tonight and early tomorrow, temperatures could drop to as low as 14°C in the north and 12°C or 13°C in the central regions.

Rain was forecast for the east coast starting Tuesday, while a cold front will bring low temperatures on Wednesday, the bureau said.

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