People planning to travel during the Lunar New Year holiday should prepare themselves to face heavy traffic on several sections of road nationwide, the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday.
The DGH listed 15 sections of road, including the intersection between the Chiching Interchange on National Freeway No. 3 and Highway No. 2 and that between Highway No. 3 and Highway No. 72, as well as roads that lead to some of the nation’s most popular tourist attractions, such as the northeast coast, the strawberry farms in Dahu (大湖), Miaoli County, as well as Sun Moon Lake and the Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village in Nantou County.
Directorate-General of Highways Deputy Director-General Mile Chen (陳茂南) said congestion occurs on these sections during the Lunar New Year holiday almost every year.
He said the DGH had asked local police departments to direct traffic and adjust the use of traffic lanes during peak hours.
Chen said local police departments would reinforce their efforts to crack down on illegal roadside parking, adding that some local governments plan to have temporary parking lots near tourist attractions so that the traffic can proceed smoothly.
In related news, the DGH said it plans to straighten the road section between Anshuo (安朔) and Caopu (草埔) in Taitung County on Highway No. 9 and increase the number of traffic lanes on this section from two to four.
The DGH said most drivers found it difficult to drive on the Anshuo-Caopu section because it is a meandering route.
Currently, the section covers a distance of 15.7km. Construction will reduce the distance to 11km, the DGH said.
The speed limit on the section will then be raised from 40kph to 60kph, it said, which will help decrease the travel time from between 40 and 50 minutes to between 25 and 35 minutes.
Based on the DGH’s plan, construction involves building a 5km tunnel and a bridge.
The project is expected to be completed by 2017 and the total cost is estimated at NT$11.9 billion (US$197 million), the DGH said.
Aside from the Anshuo-Caopu section, the DGH has also budgeted about NT$7 billion to expand the number of traffic lanes between Sianglan (香蘭) and Daniao (大鳥) on Highway No. 9.