The Taipei Dome could collapse if construction were immediately halted, which could affect the operation of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) System’s Bannan Line, or Line 5, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.
“As long as the base structure of the [Dome’s] site is unfinished, there is a risk of it collapsing,” Ko said.
Ko acknowledged concerns that the Dome’s construction might have caused damage to a historical site — the former Songshan Tobacco Factory — but said that its potential effect on the MRT line, which runs out to Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), if construction is stopped is “even more worrisome.”
Ko made the comments as questions were raised over the city’s response to the latest revelations of damage to the tobacco factory site.
He said the damage was discovered after an earthquake on Monday.
Taipei Department of Rapid Transportation Systems Commissioner Chou Li-liang (周禮良) said that as the basement of the Dome is being constructed from the top down, the structure cannot be stabilized until the lowest level of the basement is completed.
Given the Dome’s size, it would inevitably affect the MRT’s Bannan Line, which runs along the construction site’s southern border, should it collapse, he said.
However, the risk of a collapse is minimal according to the department’s previous analysis, with current site readings within the acceptable range, he said.
Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs Executive Secretary Liu De-chien (劉得堅) said that 14 new cracks were found at the tobacco factory site after Monday’s earthquake.
Last month, the city government said it was fining contractor Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) following the discovery of subsidence at the former Songshan Tobacco Factory, causing cracks and tilting in the complex’s smokestack.
The department yesterday presented its report on previous damage at the site to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
Although the city government has already announced the penalties, they still need to be approved by judicial authorities before they can be levied, Liu said.
Meanwhile, in response to a Farglory news conference yesterday rejecting the results of a city committee report on the Dome’s safety, Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said that the simulations run by the committee could stand the test of public scrutiny, with all relevant information uploaded online.
He reiterated the city’s position that the site would not be allowed to operate without guarantees over public safety.
Farglory is welcome to send representatives to the city government for discussions, or to present alternative plans for improving safety at the site, he said.
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