Traffic on Highway No. 17 in Pingtung County will soon flow uninterrupted because a new bridge will soon be completed, the -Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said.
The DGH said the Shuangyuan Bridge (雙園橋) connecting Linyuan (林園), Greater Kaohsiung, to Sinyuan (新園), Pingtung County, was an important route between the two counties.
The old Shuangyuan bridge was damaged by Typhoon -Morakot in August 2009, with about 400m completely destroyed by the flood.
“We managed to resume traffic on the old bridge by building a temporary steel bridge,” said Yu Cheng-yu (余成鈺), a section chief at the DGH’s southern engineering office.
“Then we built another new bridge nearby, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year,” Yu said.
The DGH put the cost of construction for the new bridge at NT$3.8 billion (US$125.8 million), making it the most expensive bridge to be rebuilt.
Costs were high because the entire construction involved about 3km, including the main bridge and passages leading to the bridge, it said.
To make sure the new bridge could withstand future floods, it was built with only 19 piers, down from 67.
The width of the bridge was also widened from 19m to 26m, making it possible to accommodate two fast lanes, one slow lane and a bike lane.
The DGH said northbound lanes on the bridge opened for traffic in September, adding that two-way traffic would be opened by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the Donggang Bridge (東港橋) in Pingtung County is scheduled to be completed by August next year. Northbound lanes could be opened on Aug. 26.
The DGH said the new Donggang Bridge is also designed to withstand floods, adding that it was built with only five piers. It was also widened to 28m and was lengthened to 382m.