Kaohsiung bridge re-opens after help from China

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 - Page 3

A bridge in Greater Kaohsiung that was destroyed by massive flooding triggered by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009 opened to traffic on Saturday after being rebuilt with funds donated by China.

The Huoshan Bridge on the Jiaxian-Shanlin section of the No. 21 provincial highway was one of dozens of bridges and roads in mountainous areas of Kaohsiung that were partially or entirely damaged by the storm, the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council said.

Knowing that Taiwan needed funds to get the area back on its feet, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) jointly raised funds from Chinese donors to help rebuild the bridge, the council said.

The reconstruction of Huoshan Bridge began in November last year, with the Taiwan Mazu Fellowship, a religious civic group, commissioned to take charge of the project, which was completed at a cost of NT$540 million (US$18.46 million).

Described as an extradosed bridge, which is similar to a cable-stayed bridge but with a lower tower, Huoshan Bridge now stretches 280m.

It was designed based on ideas inspired by the roofs of local temples and the crown of Matsu (媽祖), the goddess of the sea who is widely worshiped in Taiwan, Taiwan Mazu Fellowship honorary chairman Yen Chin-piao (顏清標) said during the inauguration ceremony.

The bridge’s opening was also witnessed by Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council chief executive Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川), Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) and ARATS Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中).