Tun­nel com­pleted as part of Suhua High­way im­prove­ment

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Suhua High­way im­prove­ment project moved one step closer to com­ple­tion Satur­day with the fin­ished con­struc­tion of the south­bound 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 ac­ci­dent­prone 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.

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