Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Wuyang Overpass set to open on Saturday

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Workers yesterday prepare for the opening of the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass, better known as the Wuyang Overpass, scheduled for Saturday.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

The National Freeway Bureau yesterday said that motorists driving on the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass (五楊高架橋) without on-board units (OBU) or eTags would still need to pay freeway tolls, but would not incur a fine during the first two months of the new road’s operation.

The much-anticipated overpass connecting Wugu (五股) and Yangmei (楊梅), which is also known as the Wuyang Overpass, is scheduled to be opened for traffic on Saturday after the Ministry of Transportation and Communications postponed the official launch date four times. An inauguration ceremony is to be held tomorrow.

The bureau said the 40km overpass does not have any toll booths. Instead, Freeway tolls will be collected by the electronic toll collection (ETC) system, which can be accessed through the installation of on-board units or eTags.

Bureau chief engineer Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said vehicles not equipped with either of these devices can drive on the overpass, but should pay tolls at other locations.

For example, Wu said southbound drivers who do not have OBUs, eTags or prepaid ETC accounts would be required to drive to Freeway No. 1 and pay tolls at Taishan (泰山) before rejoining the overpass.

“Some drivers may forget to leave the overpass and pay toll fees during the first stage of operations,” Wu said.

“They would normally be fined between NT$600 and NT$1,200 for driving in the wrong collection lane. However, since motorists may need time to adjust to the new routes, these fines will be waived during the first two months [of operation]. Drivers simply need to make up the missed payments later, ” Wu added.

To facilitate the collection of tolls from non-ETC users, the bureau has also installed a manual toll collection lane at the entrance of the transfer road to the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass next to the Taishan Toll Collecting Station.

The bureau said that motorists would receive a notification informing them of unpaid tolls if they do not make a payment within a two-week grace period, adding that they would incur an additional NT$50 processing fee.

Should motorists fail to make payments within the designated period they will be subject to toll fees plus a fine of NT$300, the bureau added.

The Wugu-Yangmei overpass is also equipped with the nation’s one and only high-occupancy vehicle lane and the cars on the lane must carry at least three persons, the bureau said. Drivers would be given two months of grace period to comply with the regulation, it added.

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