First section of improved Suhua Highway opens to buses

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The first section of the improved Suhua Highway between Su'ao and Dong'ao townships in Yilan County opened Monday to buses. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) The first section of the improved Suhua Highway between Su’ao and Dong’ao townships in Yilan County opened Monday to buses, to warm responses from some passengers, who said it helps cut travel time.

After several rounds of trial runs and tests, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) opened the new 9.7-kilometer stretch of the Suhua Highway, a 118-km section of Provincial Highway No. 9 between Su’ao and Hualien City, to large vehicles at 7:30 a.m.

To mark the opening, the Yilan County government, in collaboration with the DGH, have launched a seven-day free bus service, allowing passengers taking Kuo-Kuang Bus Route 122 between Su’ao and Nan’ao and Metropolitan Bus Route 121 between Su’ao and Dong’ao free of charge during the period.

One passenger said travel time on the newly completed section now takes nine minutes instead of the 25 minutes it took on the old road.

About 50 southbound and 100 northbound buses were expected to travel on the new section that day.

The new stretch first opened on Feb. 5 to cars, and the DGH will conduct an assessment for three to six months on opening the section to trucks.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Evelyn Kao)