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Sanxiantai Bridge to reopen on Feb 5 in eastern Taiwan

Bridge had been closed for over year after 2022 Taitung earthquakes

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Sanxiantai Arch Bridge. (East Coast National Scenic Area photo)

Sanxiantai Arch Bridge. (East Coast National Scenic Area photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After being closed for over a year, the Sanxiantai Arch Bridge will be reopened to the public early next month.

Due to the impact of a strong earthquake, the footbridge was temporarily closed to the public on Dec. 23, 2022. After multiple inspections by professional technicians, it has been determined that the bridge can be conditionally reopened on Feb. 5, announced the East Coast National Scenic Area on Tuesday (Jan. 30).

Situated to the northeast of Taitung County's Chenggong Township, Sanxiantai is a scenic area known for its nearly 400-meter-long sea-crossing footbridge consisting of eight arches. The bridge connects the main island of Taiwan with the outer island of Sanxiantai and resembles the shape of a dragon undulating over the sea.

The bridge is the most distinctive landmark of Sanxiatai and is popular among tourists. It was closed three months after the impact of a series of earthquakes that struck Taitung from Sept. 17-18, 2022, with the largest registering a magnitude 6.9.

Sanxiantai Bridge to reopen on Feb 5 in eastern Taiwan
Sanxiantai Arch Bridge. (East Coast National Scenic Area photo)

The office said it invited bridge experts, scholars, and professional consulting firms to provide opinions about the bridge's safety. They conducted multiple inspections and discussions to explore reinforcement and improvement solutions.

In September, the office commissioned the Taiwan Structural Engineers Association to conduct a more detailed safety assessment. The association found no signs of misalignment, lateral displacement, or tilting deformation of the bridge body or steel beams.

The office has decided to conditionally reopen the bridge on Feb. 5. The criterion for reopening is set at wind speeds below Level 10 on the Beaufort scale.