Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Legislators grill commission over collapsing bridges

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday grilled the Public Construction Commission (PCC) over safety concerns that have been raised in the wake of a recent spate of collapsing bridges.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) asked PCC Chairman Fan ­Liang-shiow (范良銹) why Taichung County’s Houfeng Bridge (后豐大橋), which collapsed last month, had been declared dangerous just seven years after it was built.

“The commission was created to improve the quality of public infrastructure, but I am sure many people feel the quality is actually deteriorating. I think the organization should be dismissed immediately,” Yeh said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) said that although renovation work on Kaohsiung County’s Chia­shian Bridge (甲仙大橋) had been completed in May, the bridge collapsed when Typhoon Sinlaku hit last month.

She said the commission needed to perform a comprehensive survey of bridges nationwide.

KMT Legislator Chen Ken-te (陳根德) urged the commission to implement more stringent safety standards for bridges and to find ways to speed up repairs.

In response, PCC Vice Chairman Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) said future public construction projects would be outsourced to contractors with good reputations.

Contractors would receive a bonus if they managed to complete projects earlier than scheduled, Chern said.

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