Stalled construction of Kinmen Bridge to finally be restarted

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Apr 09, 2013 - Page 4

With the long-stalled construction of the main body of the Kinmen Bridge finally to be started by Kuodeng Construction Co, Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Wo-shih (李沃士) said he hoped the firm would be able to make up for the delays that have hindered the project’s progress.

The Kinmen Bridge — which will connect Kinmen Island with Lieyu County (烈嶼), or “Little Kinmen” in China’s Fujian Province — had long been considered an empty promise that was brought up only during elections, so residents were overjoyed when they learned that the project would finally be realized.

The Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau initially outsourced the project to the Huachi Construction Co for NT$6.5 billion (US$217 million). Construction began in May last year and was to finish by 2016.

However, Shangjung Construction Co, which had also bid for the project, filed a complaint with the bureau alleging that Huachi was not qualified to build the bridge. This led the bureau and the Kinmen County Government to suspend construction in December last year and nullify the contract.

A new round of bidding for the project was held last month, but the auction twice failed to attract any bidders until Kuodeng’s NT$6.6 billion bid was accepted in a third auction held last week.

The law requires that construction begin 50 days after a company has been awarded a bid. The project’s deadline has been moved back to August 2017.