Amid high winds and occasional rain caused by Typhoon Muifa passing to the east of Taiwan, the Bureau of High Speed Rail (BHSR) held a ceremony yesterday to celebrate the completion of the elevated section of a new metro line that will connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Construction of the 51km-long MRT Airport Line’s main structure has been finished, BHSR officials announced. Now the project enters a new stage in which the installation of electronic systems will take place.
Barring any glitches, the long-anticipated metro system will be able to start commercial services by June 2013.
The MRT Airport Line, one of the government’s 10 Major National Construction Projects, starts from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2, extends eastward to Terminal 1, and passes through townships in Taoyuan County and districts of New Taipei City (新北市), including Linkou (林口), Gueishan (龜山), Sinjhuang (新莊), Taishan (泰山) and Sanchong (三重), before entering Taipei City.
The line also reaches southward through Taoyuan’s high-speed rail station to Jhongli City (中壢).
It consists of 22 stations, of which 15 are elevated and seven are underground, with two maintenance depots. The elevated section stretches for 40km.
The Airport Line connects key transport hubs in northern Taiwan, including the Taipei Main Station, Taoyuan High-Speed Railway Station and the airport, as well as Taipei City’s metro network.
The NT$113.85 billion (US$3.9 billion) project brings together international air and domestic traffic services, BHSR said.
BHSR officials added that one of the project’s unique features is the elevated section crossing National Highway No. 1, which sports v-shaped bridge piers. The bridge, spanning 279m, enables a broad visual field for drivers on the highway, officials said, calling the flyover a landmark structure.