Taipei City’s “Smooth Road Project,” a major policy initiative of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), has failed to improve road conditions and many resurfaced roads remain uneven, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilor said yesterday.
Launched in 2010 to improve road conditions, the project has so far cost about NT$5 billion (US$170 million). By the end of last year, the city’s New Construction Office had completed resurfacing on more than 150 roads.
Citing an online poll, DPP Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) yesterday said that of the “top 10” roads in Taipei with the worst conditions, at least three had been resurfaced as part of the project.
Kao criticized the city government, saying that it had executed the initiative poorly.
“Most roads in Taipei are still uneven and even Mayor Hau was not satisfied with the results … We need him and the city government to improve the quality of work” so that the project will not lead to even more complaints, she told a press conference at the Taipei City Council.
In the online poll, conducted by Yahoo Kimo on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 with about 2,500 votes registered, the “top 10 rotten roads” in Taipei included Nanjing E Road Sec 4, Dadu Road, Yangde Boulevard, Keelung Road Sec 2, Yangping N Road Sec 2, Zhongcheng Road, Bei-an Road, Zhongshan N Road Sec 6, Tayou Road and Changan E Road.
Major roads with the most manholes included Nanjing W Road, Heping W Road Sec 3 and Bade Road Sec 4, with more than 500 manholes.
Constant construction work and the digging up of the roads by the Taipei Water Department and Taiwan Power Company are the main reasons behind the uneven roads, Kao said.
Digging work by the department was carried out at 174 locations last year, while Taipower excavated 51 sites.
“The city government had promised that no digging would be allowed on resurfaced roads within three years of resurfacing work and apparently it failed to keep its promise. We continue to see road construction everywhere and ugly patches on the surface of roads,” she said.
New Construction Office Maintenance Division director Lin Kun-hu (林昆虎) said that Taipower and the Taiwan Water Department continued to perform construction on some resurfaced roads, but that the city government only allowed such roadworks under emergency conditions, such as to repair leaking pipelines.
The city government said it will take all advice into consideration and that construction on all major roads will be completed by 2014.