The dismantlement of the Chongqing S Road (重慶南路) overpass, which served as an access ramp to Zhongzheng Bridge (中正橋) in Taipei, was completed yesterday morning, seven hours ahead of schedule.
The overpass, which connected to Heping W Road (和平西路), and the Ziqiang Market (自強市場) under the overpass, were built in 1972.
However, given the wear and tear on the overpass and the shuttering of most of the stores in the market, which had mainly sold secondhand household appliances and furniture, the Taipei City Government announced last year that the overpass would be torn down during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday.
Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times
The New Construction Office said removing the overpass is the first step of a project to revive Zhongzheng (中正) and Wanhua (萬華) districts, the Taipei Public Works Department’s New Construction Office said.
The overpass site was closed off at 9pm on Thursday and machines began demolishing it at midnight, the office said.
While the plan had been to complete the demolition in 168 hours,or seven days, last week the office said it hoped to finish in just 94 hours, so that traffic in the area could resume at 6:49pm last night.
However, yesterday morning the office said the schedule had been moved up to 11:49am.
That time was chosen to symbolize that the 49-year history of the overpass, Taipei Deputy Mayor Pong Cheng-sheng (彭振聲) said.
Although the materials and machines were readied in advance, dispatching workers was difficult during the holiday, but all the people involved worked their hardest to restore traffic as soon as possible, despite the rain, Pong said.
The rain stopped for a few hours on Sunday, allowing the road markings to be drawn, but there are still some puddles and small quality defects, so the office has asked the contractor to fix them as soon as possible, he said.
However, the roadway is still considered a temporary road and could be reconditioned to become a permanent road in the near future, he said.
In total, the 87-hour job involved 437 machines and 1,397 worker shifts, while 3,500 cubic meters of earth, 350 longitudinal girders, 24 transverse beams and 48 pier studs were removed, the office said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) posted on Facebook at noon that all the city departments involved in the project had repeatedly practiced procedure needed for the job, which is why they were able to finish the project early, a demonstration of the city government’s strong execution ability.
“We not only know how to dismantle bridges, we are even better at building new ones,” he wrote, referring to the reconstruction of Zhongzheng Bridge.
“The city government will give people a safer and steadier bridge to cross between Taipei and New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和),” he added.
Pong said the bridge reconstruction project is expected to be finished by October 2022.
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