Taiwan belatedly bolsters bridge maintenance after fatal collapse

Following the collapse of Nanfang’ao Bridge, it has been revealed at least 123 bridges across the nation are in critical condition

Collapsed Nanfang'ao Bridge (CNA photo)

Collapsed Nanfang'ao Bridge (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s central government is considering subsidies for bridge maintenance across the island after the tragic collapse of Nanfang’ao Bridge on Tuesday (Oct. 1), which killed six migrant workers.

There are 123 bridges listed as “in critical condition,” said the Executive Yuan on Friday (Oct. 3), based on a nationwide inspection. Remedial measures are being planned by the authorities to ensure the safety of these structures, reported CNA.

Cabinet Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said around 23 percent of the island’s bridges have not been properly maintained due to a lack of funds. Subsidies will be implemented to reinforce the 123 bridges that require “urgent” care, she added.

Taiwan is said to have a pre-warning system for bridges that show structural flaws, according to Liberty Times. Developed in 2013, a fiber monitoring system developed by the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering is supposed to be capable of detecting the slightest sign of subsidence or other irregularities.

The domestically-developed system has been implemented for bridges in Taipei, Yilan, and Taichung, as well as National Freeway 1. The techniques involved have been widely used at domestic companies and even exported to countries like Singapore and Malaysia, according to the report.