The National Freeway Bureau said yesterday that construction will start tomorrow on a new Nantou Interchange on the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3).
The current Nantou Interchange will be renamed the Jhongsing Interchange (中興交流道), it added.
The bureau said motorists would have to drive through the Nangang Industrial Zone (南崗工業區) before they reach downtown Nantou if they exit on the old Nantou Interchange.
The new interchange, which is about four kilometers south of the current interchange, will take motorists directly to downtown Nantou, which could cut 20 minutes off motorists’ travel time during peak hours, the bureau said.
Changes to the road signs are scheduled to be completed within a month, the bureau said, adding that the new interchange would become operational by February 2014.
In related news, the bureau also said yesterday that toll booths on the freeway would be closed from 12am to 7am between Oct. 8 and Oct. 10 when the nation will be celebrating the Double Ten -National Day holiday.
The bureau said that freeway traffic on the Double Ten holiday is slightly different to that on the Dragon Boat Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival holidays because fewer people head home and more travel to scenic spots.
The bureau estimates traffic could fluctuate between 1.9 million and 2.3 million vehicles daily and congestion could occur on the southbound lanes of freeways on Oct. 8 and the morning of Oct. 9, and heavy traffic would start emerging on the northbound lanes in the afternoon of Oct. 9 and on Oct. 10.