Fri, Jan 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

City unveils Yuanshan traffic plan

AVOIDING CHAOS Seven months before work on an overpass is to begin, a plan to limit the pressure on the Yuanshan Tunnel is being implemented

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to ease traffic around the Yuanshan Tunnel, the Taipei City Government intends to close off Zhongshan Second Bridge starting from Lunar New Year.

It will also commence renovation work on the Xinsheng Overpass in July and complete the New Zhongshan Bridge (中山新橋) in August.

Traffic in the Yuanshan area -- especially in Dazhi (大直) and Shilin (士林) -- is expected to enter a difficult period between Lunar New Year and September 2009, when work on the Xinsheng Overpass will be completed, Taipei City Transportation Department Deputy Commissioner Lin Li-yu (林麗玉) said. She called on residents to avoid driving around the area during that period.

Alternatives

To avoid congestion, drivers are encouraged to use Chengde Rd, Chongqing N Rd and the Taipei Songshan Airport Underpass as alternative routes, she added.

Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), director of the New Construction Department, said the work on the Xinsheng Overpass included tearing down the section that crosses the Keelung River and the north approach to the bridge.

This phase of the project is to be followed by reconstruction and maintenance operations on the overpass.

"Traffic in the Yuanshan area has been a big headache for Taipei and we've tried many ways to address the situation. We are counting on the reconstruction project to solve the problem and ease traffic," Lee said during an inspection tour.

Concerns

While the city government said it was confident in the project's success, Taiwan Solidarity Union Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) expressed concern over the Zhongshan New Bridge, which has a sharp curve in its design. He urged the department to place more importance on driver safety.

Lee said that the department will put concrete barriers along the bridge to deal with the safety concerns.

The Zhongshan New Bridge will also cater to scooter drivers, as the bridge will include an exclusive lane for motorcycles, Lee added.

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