Bureau mulls airport cargo freeway

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 3

The National Expressway Engineering Bureau yesterday said that it was assessing the possibility of building a short freeway connecting the Sun Yat-Sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) and the Sinbin Expressway to facilitate the transport of cargo from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

As part of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project, the 11km freeway would be called the “Branch Line of Freeway No. 1” and would run from the Sibin Expressway in New Taipei City (新北市) to the Gueishan (龜山) section of Freeway No. 1 in Taoyuan County.

The estimated cost for the freeway’s construction is NT$22.1 billion (US$762 million).

The bureau is scheduled to submit an assessment report on the freeway to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications before June.

If the project secures approval from the ministry, the bureau could start drafting a more detailed construction plan, which would later have to undergo an environmental assessment review.

The ministry said the periphery of Taoyuan airport is likely to see a growth in business numbers because of its convenience for international passenger and cargo transport.

However, the ministry said that it was planning to separate passenger traffic from cargo.

While Freeway No. 2, high-speed rail and the Airport Rail would be used to transport passengers to and from the airport, the Branch Line of Freeway No. 1 would be used to facilitate cargo deliveries.

Meanwhile, the National Freeway Bureau said that motor vehicles on the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass that are not equipped with eTags or on-board units (OBU) — devices needed to access the Electronic Toll Collection System — must leave the overpass and pay toll fees before returning to the overpass.

The 40km overpass is scheduled to open on Monday.

The overpass does not have any toll booths, and drivers using it would miss the Taishan Toll Station if they continue driving.

To help drivers exit the overpass and pay the toll fees, the bureau has built connecting routes on southbound lanes near Wugu (五股) and on northbound lanes near the Taishan Toll Station.

As a reminder to drivers, the bureau will also post signs about 2km before connecting routes.

Drivers will be fined NT$600 if they do not take the connecting routes to pay toll fees, the bureau said.