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Tunnel completed as part of Suhua Highway improvement project

Tunnel completed as part of Suhua Highway improvement project

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) The Suhua Highway improvement project moved one step closer to completion Saturday with the finished construction of the south-bound lane of the Wuta Tunnel. The 464-meter Wuta Tunnel in Nan'ao, Yilan County is one of eight tunnels along the coastal highway leading to Hualien County and is the third to be completed. Addressing a ceremony to mark the completion of the work on the tunnel, Premier Mao Chi-kuo noted that 63 percent of the Suhua Highway improvement project involves tunnel-boring, which is challenging task because of the geologically fragile area. Mao recalled that the government had planned to build a freeway between Yilan and Hualien, but dropped the proposal due to opposition from environmentalists. Amid calls from local residents for "a safe road to travel home," the government later decided to focus on improving the accident-prone Suhua Highway, he said. He said the Suhua Highway improvement project is not about economic development but social fairness, because people in eastern Taiwan deserve safe roads just like those in the western areas. Upon completion in 2017, the Suhua Highway improvement project, with three new road sections, will replace the narrow coastal road that links the counties of Yilan and Hualien. The new sections will run from Suao to Dong'ao in Yilan, from Nan'ao in Yilan to Heping in Hualien, and from Heping to Chongde in Hualien, covering a total of 38.8 kilometers. Upgrading of the highway gained urgency in 2010 after torrential rain from Typhoon Megi triggered lethal landslides on the road, killing 26 people. (By Worthy Shen and Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-09-28 01:22 GMT+08:00