Mon, May 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Builders’ lack of interest delays Tamkang Bridge

BID BLOCKAGE:The tender process for the construction of the main part of the bridge has failed three times, so the DGH said that it would raise its offer to NT$9.4 billion

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) yesterday said it might have to postpone the opening of the Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋) until after 2020 due to a lack of interest among construction firms in building it.

The structure, which connects the Port of Taipei and Danhai New Town (淡海新市鎮), was once ridiculed as a bridge “that would only emerge during election time,” as many politicians made building it one of their key campaign promises.

Construction of the 6km-long bridge began three years ago and was then estimated to cost NT$14.1 billion (US$466.67 million at current exchange rates). The DGH divided construction into three projects that were put up for tender.

The first two, which involve building connecting roads at both sides of the bridge, were begun in October 2014 and January last year.

However, the tender process for the construction of the main part of the bridge has failed three times, the DGH said.

To facilitate the bidding process, the highway authority said that it is planning to raise the construction funds for the third project from NT$8.4 billion to NT$9.4 billion in the hopes of attracting qualified bidders at a tender session scheduled for May 23.

The completion of the bridge would be set back until 2021 at the earliest, it said.

The bridge, which is to be designed by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, would be the world’s longest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge with a single pylon.

Apart from car lanes, the highway authority said that it is to allocate space on the bridge for a light-rail system connecting New Taipei City’s Tamsui (淡水) and Bali (八里) districts.

The Tamkang Bridge would help shorten the travel distance for people traveling between Tamsui and Bali by about 15km, shaving 25 minutes off their travel times.

Travelers between the two areas must now cross Guandu Bridge (關渡大橋) in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投).

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