Wugu-Yangmei road opening will not be delayed to Sept.: Yeh

By Joy Lee, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The opening of the Zhongli section of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass will not be postponed to September as some media have reported, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) head Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said yesterday.

“The National Expressway Engineering Bureau (NEEB, 國工局) is responsible for scheduling the actual date to open the Wugu-Yangmei overpass to traffic after conducting an inspection,” Yeh said.

Yeh said that the schedule for work on the overpass has been extended to September, but the end date for construction is usually earlier than the entire timetable.

“The timetable for the construction plan and the scheduled time to open the overpass to traffic are two different things,” he said.

“As the head of the MOTC, I can’t say when the overpass will be opened to traffic without the NEEB’s inspection to make sure there are no safety-related issues.” Yeh said that he does not want the contractor to rush the work and risk shoddy workmanship. Chang Chung-ching (張純青), deputy director-general of the NEEB, said that the bureau has authorized the Chinese Society of Structural Engineering (中華民國結構工程學會) to conduct an inspection on the overpass. Once the inspection is finished, the NEEB will report to the MOTC.

The opening of the Zhongli section of the Wugu-Yangmei overpass has been postponed four times for various reasons such as weather, staff shortages and repair issues. It was originally scheduled to be opened to traffic before Chinese New Year. Contractor Files Petition Against Possible Delay Fines Yeh said yesterday that the contractor responsible for the construction of the overpass has filed a petition against possible fines over the bungled project.

According to local reports, though the contractor may be fined for the repeated delays, it might also receive bonuses for trying to get the work done faster.

Yeh said that the MOTC planned to fine the contractor, but the contractor has filed a petition to the Executive Yuan’s Public Construction Commission for the potential fine, so the MOTC is still waiting for the result of the filed petition.