Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Airport Rail plan set to move ahead

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Bureau of High Speed Rail announced yesterday that contractors have been found for all sections of the Airport Rail construction project, adding that the project was scheduled to be completed by 2014.

Yesterday afternoon, the bureau held a ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the Airport Rail’s Taoyuan Station, which was attended by Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Taoyuan County Commissioner Eric Chu (朱立倫) and other local dignitaries.

Mao said that the Airport Rail line would not only help facilitate faster transportation between Taipei and Kaohsiung, it would also become one of the main transportation systems connecting the Taoyuan Airport Zone and other cities in the vicinity.

He said the project had been delayed because of problems finding construction contractors.

The bureau said that soaring construction costs, delays in the environmental impact review of the Taipei-Sanchung section and unsettled disputes over the design of the Airport-Taoyuan section of the line had discouraged many contractors from bidding on the construction work.

The bureau originally estimated that the 51.5km Airport Rail would be fully operational by 2011.

All the construction work was finally given to contractors last month.

The construction costs are expected to reach NT$113.8 billion (US$3.45 billion), NT$20.2 billion higher than previous estimates.

The section between Sanchung (三重) of Taipei County and Chungli (中壢) in Taoyuan is scheduled to be in operation by June 2013.

The last section from Taipei to Sanchung will be ready by June 2014, the bureau said.

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