Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Overpass to change life in Yuanlin

DEVELOPMENT TOOL:Railway tracks have long divided the township in half. The new overpass will elevate the tracks, as well as the new railway station

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Yuanlin railway overpass in Changhua County’s Yuanlin Township (員林) is scheduled to become operational by the end of this year, turning the railway into a catalyst for development instead of a barrier, officials said.

The Railway Reconstruction Bureau said the overpass will help eliminate the need for three railway crossings, five underground passageways and one pedestrian skywalk along the rail line.

The new Yuanlin railway station will also be opened by the end of this year, so that passengers will be able to access the railway overpass through the new station, the bureau said.

However, the current railway station and the new station will coexist for a while, as the demolition of the present station and the subsequent landscaping project are not scheduled to be completed until January 2016, the bureau said.

Several public artworks will be displayed inside and outside the new station, the bureau said. One of them, Wa by Japanese artist and writer Yayoi Kusama, is to be installed in the plaza in front of the station by May next year.

The 84-year-old artist is one of the pioneers of pop art and is known for using psychedelic colors, repetition and patterns in her works.

Wa’s theme is “I go to my boyfriend in high heels,” Kusama said.

She said Wa was inspired by the idea of girls who dress up and wait at railway stations for their dates to arrive.

The work is decorated with flowers, a nod to the fields of flowers that the township is known for, she said.

There will be more artworks in the station lobby and on the platforms, the bureau said. The images and themes of these works describe different stages of romantic relationships, which will help turn the new station into a place in which people will want to fall in love, the bureau said.

The 3.98km long overpass starts 900m north of the railway crossing on Beishi Road and runs 100m north of a drainage trench in Yuanlin.

It cost about NT$5.88 billion (US$196 million) to construct.

At present, the rail line bisects the township into east and west sides. The roads in front of the railway station are narrow and have limited parking spaces, which often leads to traffic congestion, officials said.

The overpass will connect the city’s east and west sides by elevating both the railway station and the tracks.

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