Hau determined to improve city roads

SMOOTH OPERATOR?:Despite its high failure rate, the city government defended its ‘Smooth Road Project,’ saying any rework costs would fall on the contractor

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - Page 4

The Taipei City Government yesterday defended its “Smooth Road Project” amid continual complaints over poor road conditions and promised to ensure the project’s quality, while acknowledging the high failure rate of road resurfacing work.

Recent data from the city’s New Construction Office showed that of the 1.19 million square meters of road resurfaced last year, about 25 percent failed quality examinations and required a second round of resurfacing.

For example, the office’s examination of road quality on Minchuan E Road Sec 6, where resurfacing was completed last year, showed that the contractor did not apply enough pitch to the surface. The office has instructed the contractor to remove the pitch from a 610m section and reapply it this week.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who inspected the resurfacing work on Wednesday, insisted that the city government’s determination to improve the quality of the capital’s roads remained firm, and said that it welcomes all residents to examine the quality of the project.

According to New Construction Office Maintenance Division director Lin Kun-hu (林昆虎), the city government had expected to complete resurfacing on 20 roads, but the work on Xinhai Road, Chungde Street, sections 1 and 2 of Chengde Road and Wanmei Street are yet to be finished due to poor weather conditions.

He dismissed concerns over the poor quality of resurfacing work, and said that the city government will increase the frequency of examinations on roads scheduled to be completed this year to ensure their quality.

“We have adopted high standards in the examination of road resurfacing work, and the contractors are required to remove the pitch and redo the work if the quality of the roads fail to meet our standards. The contractors also have to pay for the second batch of resurfacing work,” he said yesterday.

The “Smooth Road Project,” a major feature of Hau’s election campaign, was launched in 2010 to improve road conditions. The project has cost about NT$5 billion (US$170 million) so far.

The city government is scheduled to complete road resurfacing work on 29 roads this year, and 34 roads next year, Lin said.