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Taichung mayor suspends Taiwan Tower project over safety, budget

Taichung mayor suspends Taiwan Tower project over safety, budget

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) The mayor of Taichung has temporarily pulled the plug on the ambitious Taiwan Tower (???) project in the central city, citing concerns over safety and the ballooning of its NT$8 billion (US$253 million) to NT$15 billion. The budget has surged to a level that "is not in line with the Taichung City Council's resolution," said Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) Monday in a city hall meeting. Lin said the Taiwan Tower, a major project pushed by his predecessor, three-term mayor Jason Hu (???), is problematic in terms of its design, structural complexity and safety, saying that he will organize a special team to review it and come up with a possible replacement plan. "Making a wrong decision is more horrible than corruption," Lin said in regard to the original plan, adding he would rather pay the penalty for breaking the contract than pay the NT$15 billion to build the tower. According to the mayor, the losses caused by the suspension and compensation payments will be NT$300 million. Taiwan Tower was an idea championed by Hu, who served as mayor of Taichung from 2001, when it was a provincial city, until Dec. 25, 2014. Hu wanted the planned over-300-meter tall building to be a landmark for the city after its upgrade to a special municipality in 2010. Designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who won an international competition in 2011 to draw up plans for the building, Taiwan Tower's ornate steel structure was inspired by the trunk of a banyan tree. The tower was planned on a lot of 4.4 hectares and billed as "the Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower." If completed, it would be home to an observation platform, restaurants and environmental quality monitoring stations, according to the city government. Construction has to date not begun on the project planned for the Taichung Gateway economic and trade park. (By Hau Hsueh-chin and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-23 01:10 GMT+08:00