The building at the Chingshui Rest Area (清水休息區) on Freeway No. 3 is safe and is equipped with all the required fire safety equipment, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau’s statement yesterday followed a Next Magazine story this week alleging the bureau allowed the building’s contractor — Hsin Tung Yang, a large food company — to expand the facility without securing the necessary permits.
The bureau’s deputy chief engineer Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said that the Chingshui Rest Area’s contractor has submitted an application to expand or remodel the facilities. The building also passed an inspection for fire safety installations and certification for the completed construction.
Wu, said, however, that the contractor applied to expand the existing facility by adding a roof-top restaurant last August.
“We asked that the contractor pass an environmental impact review before it began construction, but it did not listen,” Wu said, adding that the bureau has fined the contractor twice for the violation and barred the company from opening the restaurant.
Wu denied allegations that the bureau intended to cover up the problem and said that the contractor would have to apply for construction and user permits.
Hsin Tung Yang also promised yesterday to quickly complete all the necessary procedures. However, it said it had hired specialists to review the structure of the building before it started construction of the rooftop restaurant.
The building is safe to use, it said.