Tue, Feb 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Expedited completion of Kinmen Bridge requested

Staff writer with CNA

Public Construction Commission Minister Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) has requested that the Kinmen Bridge project be completed by the end of 2019, about nine months earlier than scheduled, without giving a reason why the work should be expedited.

Wu gave the directive during a tour of Kinmen County last week, adding that no accidents would be tolerated during construction of the bridge connecting the islands of Greater Kinmen and Little Kinmen, also known as Lieyu (烈嶼).

Work on the 5.4km bridge began on Dec. 28 last year and was scheduled to be completed on Sept. 25, 2020, according to a briefing given by the Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau.

However, after hearing the briefing, Wu said it would be better to shorten the project’s construction time and move the projected completion date to the end of 2019.

Kinmen County Secretary-General Lin De-gong (林德恭) said a total of NT$7.39 billion (US$239.9 billion) was originally budgeted for the project, of which NT$3.96 billion was to come from the central government and NT$3.43 billion from the county.

After repeated delays pushed the completion date to September 2020, the project’s budget grew to about NT$9 billion. Performance bonds collected from contractors who did not meet their obligations would cover part of the gap, but a shortfall of about NT$500 million will remain, Lin said.

He said the central government should cover two-thirds of the outstanding costs while the local government would cover the balance, as per an agreement approved by the Executive Yuan in August last year on financing necessary additional expenditures.

The project has suffered many twists and turns, including the termination of construction contracts in 2012 because a company was not qualified to bid on the project.

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