With the improved Suhua Highway to be inaugurated in January and a stretch along the electrified South Link Line to open next month, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday instructed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to prepare for an anticipated increase in traffic over the Lunar New Year holiday.
Some proposed routes have not been included in the Suhua Highway improvement project — such as a stretch connecting Yilan County’s Dongao (東澳) and Nanao (南澳) townships, as well as a ramp connecting the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (Freeway No. 5) to the highway — as they are undergoing viability assessments, Su told a weekly Cabinet meeting in Taipei.
The Executive Yuan would give these projects its unstinting support once the routes are approved, thereby fulfilling its promise to build rail and highway networks across the nation, he said.
As the Suhua Highway and the widened South Link Highway would fully open to the public in January, just ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when traffic is at its peak, the ministry must ensure that it has established traffic control measures along new roads and safety measures in long tunnels, as well as completed disaster prevention drills, Su said.
It should also make efforts to inform the public of the new routes so that they can be utilized, he said.
Both highways were built along mountains in a highly technical process that required nine years to complete, Su said.
Hopefully, they will make eastern Taiwan more accessible so that its beauty can be discovered and cherished by more people, and the development gap between the east and other areas of the nation can be narrowed, he said.
A new electrified stretch along the Taiwan Railways Administration’s South Link Line connecting Pingtung County’s Chaojhou (潮州) and Fangliao (枋寮) townships is to be inaugurated on Dec. 20, Su said.
The stretch is dubbed “the last mile to fully electrifying the rail network around the nation,” so the ministry must ensure that testing has been conducted before its opening to provide people with the highest-quality transportation experience, he said.
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