The government does not plan to extend the high-speed rail line and the Formosa Freeway further from Greater Kaohsiung to Pingtung County, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.
The ministry made the statement in response to a report by the Chinese-language daily China Times last week on traffic congestion around Kenting (墾丁) during summertime.
The report said residents in Hengchun (恆春) had proposed extending the railway lines and the freeway, also known as Freeway No. 3, to Pingtung County for many years, but the current administration had put these projects on the backburner for financial reasons.
The ministry said in an official statement that it had never submitted a report to the Executive Yuan on extending the high-speed rail line to Pingtung, nor had any such project been approved by the Executive Yuan.
The ministry said that both the Bureau of High Speed Rail and the Taiwan Railway Administration had completed reports evaluating the possibility of extending the railway systems to Pingtung.
However, both agencies concluded that the proposal was not feasible in terms of funding and economic benefits. As such, these reports had never been submitted to the Executive Yuan, the ministry said.
As for extending Freeway No. 3, the ministry said it halted review of the project in 2007 and sought to improve the local road network instead.
The ministry also said it would continue the project of electrifying the railway line between Chaojhou (潮州) and Fangliao (枋寮) in Pingtung and the South Link Rail (南迴鐵路) connecting Greater Kaohsiung and Taitung.
To ease traffic on the intersection of Provincial Highway No. 1 and No. 17, the ministry said that the Directorate General of Highways was planning to improve the road conditions on County Highway 185 and Township Highway 132 and turn them into alternative routes for motorists.
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