TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An undergrounding project has been completed on a scenic stretch of Taitung County Route 197 from Chihshang Township to Taitung City to remove the eyesore of omnipresent overhead cables and utility poles, CNA reported on Thursday (Nov. 21).
According to the Chihshang Township Office, the undergrounding project on the first 2-kilometer stretch of Taitung County Route 197, which cost NT$60 million (US$1.88 million) to complete, has created a landscape of a straight rural highway going through vast paddy fields, with mountains in the background and no utility poles in sight.
The office went on to say that it took one year to complete the road beautifying project, which involved changing tape-water pipes and moving power lines, telecommunication cables, and manholes underground, the news agency reported.
To celebrate the completion of the project, the office has invited members of the public to participate in a hiking activity on Sunday (Nov. 24) to experience the magnificent scenery free of utility poles, the report said.
In the past, few tourists would bike on the country road. However, now the 2-kilometer stretch is frequented by photo op-seeking tourists, and some of them even mistake it as Chihshang Township's famous Mr. Brown Avenue, according to the news agency.
First two-kilometer stretch of Taitung County Route 197 before undergrounding. (Google Maps photo)