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Achievements

Taipei Takes Off

Jianguo Expressway ●Expeditious and Innovative
Traversing Taipei on a Silver Ribbon
When did the journey home become so swift?
Slipping onto Huandong Expressway from Nangang Software Park, prodding the accelerator, riding on a silver ribbon, traversing Taipei basin, dashing towards a welcoming home…

●Safety, Efficiency, and Amenity (S. E. A.)
These are the concrete goals of the Public Works Department, Taipei City Government for developing a new Taipei, setting superb standards for future developments in safety and reliability, health and hygiene, convenience and comfort, environment and ecology, as well as the urban beautification of a city designed for its people.
The expressway system in Taipei totals 59.6 kilometers, comprising the Huandong Expressway, the Huanxi Expressway, the east-west expressway Zhoumei network, and the north-south expressway network, forming a complete transportation network, with 43.3 kilometers or close to 75% completed. Citizens take to the air on silver ribbons, crossing the basin of the city with abandon, on their journeys to diverse destinations.
The geology of Taipei basin is complex, manifold and erratic, which exposes great challenges to the professional skills and abilities of construction engineers. However, technical difficulties are often overshadowed by problems such as the protests of residents and their dissatisfaction with noise arising from nighttime construction Huandong Bridge work. With every construction, come untold stories both touching and heartbreaking.

●The Beauty of Zhoumei Expressway Rests upon Teamwork
Zhoumei Expressway totals 5.5 kilometers. It saves travelling time by 20-30 minutes and eased the congestion dramatically for commuters from Guandu, Beitou, and Shilin districts. The expressway includes 3.2 kilometers of elevated roads and was completed in only one year and nine months, setting several construction records in the process. Many touching stories have risen from this construction as well.
The construction of the bridge pylons in the Keelung riverbed took place during the flood season, making this phase more difficult, especially as floating cranes were being used. The cranes worked from both banks of the river to piece together the bridge spans. This is the first time such a construction method was used in Taiwan.
The bridge pile foundations are up to 105 meters deep under river water, which is an unprecedented achievement for foundation construction in Taiwan. Obstacles and challenges occurred one after another during this construction phase. Engineers collaborated to search various construction methods. Even the former deputy mayor of Taipei turned up at the construction site every day to offer his engineering background as an aid to overcome these hurdles. Their achievements have brought accolades from engineers throughout Asia!
Early one morning during construction of the foundation in the middle of the Keelung riverbed, underground water suddenly burst into the construction site, unceasingly flooding the site with a huge amount of water, sand and gravel. This was a disastrous crisis in the making! Thanks to the initiative and dedication of the supervisors, a major catastrophe was avoided and no workers came to harm. In the following three months, construction engineers selflessly took turns monitoring the site until the foundation work was successfully completed.

●Individual Contribution Award
In 2002 the Zhoumei Expressway project won the third annual “Golden Standard Award” from the Public Construction Commission of the Executive Yuan, while the engineer Lin Chuntien won the “Individual Contribution Award”. The following year the project was awarded the “Quality in Engineering Prize” from the Chinese Institute of Engineers. Remember these dedicated engineers with pride when you travel on their admirable achievement next time!

●A Project both Challenging and Exquisite
Imagine cruising on the blue road at night, the river at your side, the street lights rising into the sky, casting their glamour before you…Isn't this spectacular?
This is the night wonderland created by the LED lights from Zhoumei Expressway. Isn't it exquisite?

●Zhoumei Expressway Sets Records
1. The bridge has three spans across Keelung River. The longest span is 168 meters, making it the longest on any bridge of this kind in the country.
2. The bridge pile foundations are up to 105 meters deep, the deepest in the country.
3. Complex geology brings many challenges and obstacles to the construction process.
4. The bridge was completed in one year and nine months, making it the quickest project of its type.
5. The use of decorative LED lights on the bridge is unique in Taiwan.
6. The employment of floating cranes during the bridge construction was a first for Taiwan.

●Huandong Expressway is the Intimate Companion of the Technocrats
The 6-kilometer-long Huandong Expressway leaps Keelung River, forging a link between the Neihu and Nangang Software Parks, while providing effective relief from the cross-city bottleneck and further extending the transport medium to the outside world.
The expressway has enhanced the Taipei technocrats, ability to compete in the international arena.

●Dazzling Light Sculptures, Sweeping Futuristic Design
A Bridge Linking Endless Emotions
In the twilight, Dazhi Bridge shines like a sparkling necklace, a beacon for weary souls.
On the other side, a hot dinner awaits the late returning master of the house.

●The Extraordinary Fishing Rod Design of Dazhi Bridge
The original Dazhi Bridge was only 20 meters wide and its structural strength was inadequate. Furthermore, flood control work on Keelung River resulted in the deck of the bridge being lower than the estimated 200-year flood level of the river. To meet modern demands, especially the new traffic from the soon-to-be completed Songshan Airport underpass, the city government began rebuilding the bridge in 1999. Completed in 2003, the new bridge is 823 meters long and 28-40 meters wide. Once the airport underpass is completed, Dazhi Bridge will become an even more significant arterial route.
The strong artistic fishing rod design is the state of the art first. It naturally became the new landmark of Dazhi district. Accompanied by the Dajia and Rainbow Riverside Park, Dazhi Bridge glitters like a shining star.

●The MacArthur Bridge Lightshow
Spanning Keelung River, MacArthur Bridge No. 1 is the first single-arch double-decker steel bridge in Taiwan. Further along Huandong Boulevard is Huandong Bridge, a double-arch double-decker steel bridge. The pylons of these two bridges do not stand in the river bed, thus avoiding erosion and flood damage.
These bridges have two sets of anti-collapse devices and monitoring systems, providing automatic measuring and warning of bridge tilting, sinking, relative displacement, natural frequency, and seismic movement.
The citizens are deeply moved by the inspiration from the ever-changing lightshow. Huandong Bridge uses a computerized floodlight system with changing colors to express the multiple personalities of the bridge in the nighttime, whereas MacArthur Bridge No. 1 uses color-changing light tubes accompanied by multi-colored spotlights. These two bridges complement each other, shaping a spectacular nighttime Taipei pageant.

●Consoling Sleepless Residents through Long Restless Nights
Zhengqi Bridge stands above the busy Keelung Road, connecting the elevated sections of Huandong Boulevard and Civic Boulevard. To maintain the flow of traffic, the site was fenced off in sections and those causing the most disruption were constructed during the night.
It is a no-win situation. Some residents complained about losing sleep due to the noise at night;they even marched down to the construction site. The construction workers often became agony aunts, consoling sleepless residents through long restless nights.

●Periodic Inspections and Maintenance Give Citizens Peace of Mind
There are altogether 415 bridges, tunnels and underground passages in Taipei City, most of which were built during the 1970s and 1980s. To protect citizens’ life and property, the Public Works Department followed three guidelines for the safety inspections and maintenance of roads and bridges.
1. Periodic inspections and maintenance: carry out visual inspections fortnightly on all bridges and undertake repair work as required.
2. Structural safety examinations: at least once every two years.
3. Post-earthquake safety inspections: carry out a full bridge inspection whenever there is a magnitude 4 or greater earthquake and restrict bridge access as necessary.

●The Thrill of Instantaneous Travel
A Miraculous Shortcut
Zoom from Dazhi Bridge under Songshan Airport, never again take the long way to work, shorten the journey by 20 minutes!
Enter Taipei City via National Highway No.3, never again worry about being trapped on Xinhai Link Road!
Join Xinyi Expressway from Muzha Interchange, just 4 minutes to Xinyi Shopping Circle!
This is a real life adventure, not a fairytale!

●A World First–Tunneling Under a Functioning Airport
For over a decade the citizens longed for an airport underpass connecting Minzu East Road and Binjiang Street. However, due to the difficulty arising from the peculiar circumstances of constructing a tunnel under an airport, as well as negotiating construction rights on land the council did not own, the project was shelved for many years.
The construction of Songshan Airport Fuxing North Road Underpass occurred while it was business as usual at the airport, with planes coming and going continuously. Having bulldozers and planes working at the same time, it is not hard to understand the difficulty of the project.
The most challenging aspect of this project is that the tunnel passes 4-5 meters directly below the touch-down spots on the runway, and the soil condition is poor in this area. To ensure aviation safety during tunnel construction, effective control of runway settlement became the most important engineering concern.
To provide support for tunnel walls and reduce settlement, the Pipe Roofing Method was employed for the section of tunnel under the runway. A total of 27,373 meters of steel pipes were driven through the ground to form a supporting arch 103.5 meters long under the runway. This was the largest amount of piping used in a single project of this type anywhere in the world, and the supporting arch was the second longest ever constructed using this method.
Once the supporting arch was completed, 101 meters of its interior was excavated using the Endless Self Advance Method, with 17,316 cubic meters of soil removed. This marks the World's third longest tunnel section constructed, and second largest volume of soil removed, using this method. This was also the first time this method was used in Taiwan. Most significantly, the successful completion of this project saw the world's first tunnel built under a functioning airport.
Due to the complexity of the project and the risk it posed to aviation safety, no insurance company in the world would provide cover. It was up to Taipei City Government and the project contractors to bear the risk. This was the first time Taipei City Government encountered such circumstances.
For conquering numerous obstacles and setting many records along the way, the project won the fourth annual “Golden Standard Award” from the Public Construction Commission of the Executive Yuan in 2003. At the same time, the construction supervisor Chang Yuhui won the “Individual Contribution Award”.

●Typhoons and Rainstorms are the Greatest Concern During the Tunneling Phase
In 2001 Typhoon NARI brought heavy rain that flooded Songshan Airport. A flash flood tore through the access shafts, quickly engulfing the entire tunnel. The workers fled out of the access shafts at the very last minute, narrowly escaping a certain death.
The greatest concern during the flood was the proximity of these access shafts to the runway and taxiway. Fortunately the tunnel workmanship was excellent and the flood did not cause settlement or collapse anywhere on the surface. This was a hellish time for the airport operators and the construction team.

●Altering Plans to Meet Public Demand
The tunnel project requires not only the technological skills but also public coordination artistry. The commitment to public satisfaction led to a lengthy negotiation that resulted in the tunnel exit being located within the airport grounds. Through their dedication to public demands, the engineers overcame various obstacles and established many construction records in the process.

●Discovering Tree Frogs
The Xinyi Expressway project put a strong focus on ecological protection. Ecologists were employed to survey the project area while construction work was taking place. On some occasions, construction workers accompanied the ecologists on their survey of the Mountain region, starting from the Xinyi side, crossing the mountain to the muzha side. The ecologists searched for many animal species, observed their behavior, and recorded their sounds. They found a rare species of tree frog in Zhongqiang Park, for which they developed a protection and breeding program.
For the construction workers who were working under such tremendous pressure, being able to see the vitality of the wildlife nearby was an uplifting and gratifying experience.

●Visiting Residents at Night to Experience Explosions
For the residents of Muzha, Wenshan, Shengkeng and Xizhi districts, the greatest nightmare when entering Taipei city is the unavoidable drive around Fude Mountain range using the congested Zhuangjing tunnel and Xinhai link road. This stop-start torture during peak hours could take more than 30 minutes. Since the opening of Xinyi expressway, this journey is reduced to a mere 4 minutes, a miracle, thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of the workers.

The geology of Fude Mountain is complex and treacherous, deciding on the appropriate building techniques and keeping to the construction schedule were just two of the many challenges the engineers faced. In the earlier stages of the tunnel excavation, dynamite was used extensively and the horrendous noise levels at night provoked serious protests from the residents. After much negotiation and coordination, including engineers visiting the homes of residents to experience their anguish, it was decided that rock-chewing contraptions called tunnel boring machines be used instead of dynamite. This change of construction method meant a dramatic decrease in noise levels but also a significant reduction in construction speed. Under the banner of “completion on schedule”, workers put in longer hours and even sacrificed their holidays to help meet the project's deadline.
After six long years working around the clock, we now have the 3.2-kilometer-long expressway which includes a 2.4-kilometer-long tunnel. Tragically four workers gave their lives during the construction. It is through the sacrifices of all those involved that this formidable project was completed so successfully.

●Enchanting and Glamorous
Let’s Take a Romantic and Refreshing Walk
Dappled light paints the ground, intricate branches shape the canopy, revealing the bewitching and enticing side of Taipei city.
Strolling along the exquisite and enthralling Dunhua North Road, one finds his mind wanders to the boulevards of Paris.
See, walking along the streets of Taipei can be romantic too!

●Green Forest, the Heart of the City
Who said that a modern city has to be a desert of concrete?
Dunhua Road, Renai Road, and the recently embellished Zhonghua Road, are all examples of tree-lined boulevards.
The many varieties of trees compliment each other, forming colorful bands through the city, while bringing the residents of Taipei a breath of fresh air.

●Strolling Along the Street Can Be Romantic Too!
Old friends returning from overseas all share the same impression:
Taipei has become more and more beautiful!
Romantic streets are no longer the divine right of Paris, the city of lights.
Spacious sidewalks, artistic street lights, and dancing tree shade, together entice people to stop for a cup of coffee and enjoy a romantic interlude.

●When Did the Sidewalks Have Their Makeover?
Where Did the Potholes Go?
Have you ever experienced jamming your heel in a sidewalk crack or being splashed on a rainy day?
These seemingly minor problems are in fact serious concerns affecting the daily lives of residents, and form a major focus of programs established since Mayor Ma assumed office.
After renovation, the sidewalks no longer have potholes and are enhanced with user-friendly facilities and intrinsic beauty.
Smoothing between sidewalks and roads, installing vehicle barriers, these are examples of the attentive designs that provide the citizens with an open and safe environment.

●The First Pedestrian Overpass in Taiwan with Escalator Access
Outside the front gate of SongShan High School on Keelung Road, where Zhengqi Bridge meets the Keelung Road underpass, the traffic is very fast and it is extremely dangerous for the pedestrians to attempt to cross the road. However, at this location a pedestrian overpass needs to be more elevated than normal, and this is very inconvenient for pedestrians. For safety and convenience, and to encourage public use, the first pedestrian overpass with escalator access was conceived!


●Who Are the V.I.P.s in Taipei? The Pedestrians!
Bus only lanes, motorbike parking bays, motorbikes banned from using sidewalks, these are the attentive policies of Taipei City Government created for the convenience of the citizens.
Crossing the streets is no longer like putting your head in a lion's mouth!
Walking along the sidewalk without the fear of the approaching motorbikes!
Waiting for buses has ceased being a risky business!
Adults, children, people in wheelchairs, parents with prams, all can relax and stroll leisurely along the sidewalk.
Feeling tired? Sit and rest on one of many creatively designed benches, and delight in the experience!

●Working Hard to Install Sewer Pipes, Undeterred by the Stench, Creating an Unexpected Alleyway Play Area
While installing the new sewer pipes, the workers often get urinated or defecated on without warning by residents in the apartments above.

●Newfound Play Areas
With a little more thought and a little more effort, the effect and influence are often unexpectedly delightful!
The work on sewage pipes and household connections often takes place in alleyways or firebreaks. The disturbed ground needs to be resurfaced, why not lay some tiles as well? Because of a moment of inspiration, the look of alleyways is dramatically enhanced, creating a safe zone for children to play and adults to relax. Because of unwavering dedication, the firebreaks are no longer pitch black and illegal structures are now things of the past.

●Unexpected Discovery of a Precarious Floor
During the smoothing of the Nanjing East Road verandas, the workers made a startling discovery: a large one-meter deep hole under a shop floor. The construction team overcame engineering difficulties filling the hole and strengthening the foundations. Upon completion, the shop owner was so appreciative that the workers got a boost of enthusiasm for their efforts.

●Small Investments and Big Returns
Veranda and Alleyway Facelifts
Smoothing the Verandas
The verandas adjoining the ground floors of neighboring buildings are a special feature found in Taiwanese cities.
These verandas are private land, and people often alter the ground level to protect against flooding or to satisfy feng shui concepts.
The erratic height differences of verandas can be found everywhere, affecting the safety of pedestrians.
The coordination and negotiation phase before construction work can commence is extremely complicated, with many obstacles to be overcome. Thanks to the patience and sincerity of the workers, as well as the enthusiastic aidance of the head of neighboring village, this project was finally embraced by everybody. The smoothed verandas mean a safe and friendly environment for walking, and the citizens are full of praise.

●Future Aspirations
The quality of life for Taipei residents continues to improve.
The skyline of Taipei will become even more splendid and dazzling with gondolas moving across the face of the hills.
We wait with bated breath for a finer, more convenient, more citizen friendly travelling experience in Taipei of the future!

●Barrier-free Access
For the convenience of disabled people and the large number of hospital visitors, Taipei City Government undertook construction of escalators for pedestrian underpasses near Taiwan National University Hospital and Returned Serviceman's Hospital.
With the smoothing of verandas, the renovation of sidewalks, and the increase in the number of new escalators for pedestrian access, the goal of “barrier-free access” is progressively being realized.
Taipei City is well prepared to provide the service for the aging society!

●Gondolas Will Make the Taipei Skyline Even More Magnificent
Due to the shape of the Taipei basin, expansion of recreational areas is severely restricted. On the other hand, the basin landscape provides Taipei city with a rich array of natural and ecological resources, which are useful for recreation or tourism developments. The Beitou and Maokong gondola systems will not only expand the tourist horizon from 2D to 3D, but also provide Taipei citizens with another scenic and travelling experience. Let us start the countdown together!

●Expedient and Convenient Quality of Travel
The opening of Xinyi Expressway reduced the distance between the greater Wenshan region and the eastern suburbs of Taipei, saving significant travel time. Once the Songshan Airport underpass is completed, Fuxing North Road will connect directly to Dazhi Bridge, rerouting traffic from Binjiang Street via National Highway No.1 Yuanshan Interchange. Relief from the bottlenecks in the Dazhi and Neihu areas is only a matter of time. The progressive completion of the expressway system in Taipei provides the citizens with a superior transport network, the likes of which they have never experienced.