The Directorate-General of Highways yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the main section of the Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋) after failing seven times to attract bidders for the contract.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) were among the dignitaries at the ceremony.
The bridge would be important in easing traffic between Tamsui District (淡水) and Taipei’s Guangdu Bridge (關渡大橋), and would help boost tourist numbers in the area, Tsai said, adding that 30 percent of traffic on Highway No. 2 could be redirected along the bridge.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
It would also reduce the travel time between Tamsui and Bali District (八里) by nearly 30 minutes, she said.
The bridge would lead to the Linkou Industrial Zone, which facilitates cargo transport in the Port of Taipei, she said, adding that all parties should work together and avoid any construction delays.
Residents in Tamsui, as well as in other districts in New Taipei City, have been hoping that the bridge would be built for more than 20 years, Hou said, adding that their dream is finally about to come true.
When people travel to other countries, they would be able to proudly look at the bridge from the aircraft, Hou said.
“New Taipei City has to bear one-third of the bridge’s construction cost, which is about NT$8 billion [US$258.9 million]. It is a heavy burden for the city, but we are willing to do it,” he said.
Construction of the bridge initially drew opposition from critics who said it would block the view of the sunset in Tamsui, which is a local attraction.
It later caused a stir in the international community as the winning design — an asymmetric cable-stayed bridge — was by the late Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid.
The bridge is to be opened to traffic by the end of 2024, the Directorate-General of Highways said, adding that it would cost NT$21.19 billion in total.
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