Tunnel completed as part of Suhua Highway improvement
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.