Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 3 News List

MRT line to take 8 years: DORTS

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, right, Premier Jiang Yi-huah, second right, and others pray at a ground-breaking ceremony for the Wanda MRT line in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Construction for Taipei’s new Wanda (萬大) MRT line is to take four times longer than other MRT lines, Taipei’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) said yesterday.

The department said it estimated that the Wanda line would take eight years to construct, compared with two years for a typical MRT line.

Plans approved by the Executive Yuan envision a line running through Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) and looping through several districts of New Taipei City to link with the Huilong (迴龍) terminal station of the Zhonghe-Xinzhuang-Luzhou Orange Line.

A second ground-breaking ceremony for the line was held in Taipei yesterday, following a ceremony in New Taipei City last month.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said at the event that the Wanda line’s aim was different from previous lines, which focused on providing more convenient transportation to business districts.

“The Wanda line will run deeply into less developed districts,” Jiang said.

“The fact that it will bring economic development to the area around each station is even more important than its ability to provide a clean and efficient form of transportation,” he said.

Despite the project’s importance, it has been plagued with difficulties since its inception more than nine years ago, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said, adding that the dense population along the line’s route creates numerous engineering challenges.

The department said that the narrow roads under which the line would be constructed drastically reduce the availability of above-ground construction space, forcing the department to use painstaking tunneling methods for most of the line’s length.

Besides creating engineering difficulties, the narrow roads would also strictly limit the line’s size, with its final capacity significantly lower than most of Taipei’s current MRT lines, it added.

The line would feature the smallest station in the city’s MRT system, to avoid unnecessary impact on an important archaeological site near the Taipei Botanical Garden, the department said, adding that completing archaeological excavations during construction would further slow the line’s progress.

Liu Yi-chang (劉益昌), a professor of history and philology at Academia Sinica, said the ancient Aboriginal village through which the line would pass is one of the most significant archeological sites in Taipei.

Due to the village’s 4,000 years of history, different layers of cultural artifacts are found as deep as 6m, he said.

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