Highway linking Yilan to Hualien reopens to traffic


TAIPEI — The Suhua Highway, which links Suao in Yilan County with Hualien County, was reopened to traffic Sunday after being partially closed following a torrential rain on May 12 that washed away the soil beneath the roadbed.

The section between Yilan’s Nan-ao and Hualien’s Heping was reopened after eight days of repair work, but the Directorate General of Highways warned travelers of possible landslides if torrential rain strikes again.

Chen Shih-chang, a section chief at the agency, said the repairs had been expected to take 10 days, but the lingering weather system’s unexpectedly diminished rains in eastern Taiwan allowed workers to continue the repairs, while working in the rain, to more quickly allow travelers to return to the highway.

The repair project was completed Saturday evening and two-way traffic in the section was resumed at 2 p.m. the following day after workers finished clearing the road of debris, Chen said.