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COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2017

Taichung City Government begins first road rehabilitation/maintenance project on WenXin Road

Words by Information Bureau of Taichung City Government
Photos provided by Taichung City Government
Translated by Anna Yang

Taichung City Government has launched its WenXin Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project along different sections of WenXin Road with work scheduled for completion by August, 2018. This project will eliminate old water pipes and widen sidewalks to transform WenXin Road into a safe, people-friendly road running alongside Taichung Metro's Green Line, which will be completed by the end of 2018.

The total cost of this road rehabilitation project, including the old water pipe removal by Taiwan Water Corp. and a new bike route, will be NT$8 billion. Part of the project has already started and the goal is to create an efficient and safe route that meets international road standards.

Complementing the Taichung Metro Green Line, Taichung City Government's Economic Affairs Bureau is widening pedestrian walkways on WenXin Road. The first stage of this project, initiated on Oct. 23, will see the removal of old, 40-year-old water lines along WenXin and WenXin South roads as well as the full remove of pipes beneath sidewalks. This will result in the creation of of six car lanes plus a two-meter-wide sidewalk and bike lane.

Taichung City Government Economic Affairs Bureau plans to complete 500 kilometers of road rehabilitation within four years, with progress to date already covering 440 kilometers.

Construction of the Green Line has caused a variety of road damage that has created traffic issues, making repairs a priority for the Taichung City Government Economic Affairs Bureau. However, WenXin Road's numerous intersections and busy traffic has slowed work progress. Thus, a design plan has been divided into three stages of construction--old water pipeline removal, widening pedestrian sidewalks, and road rehabilitation.

A total of 20.4 kilometers of green belt will be added along the Taichung Metro Green Line, allowing city residents to enjoy leisurely walking and biking along a user-friendly and safe WenXin Road.

WenXin Road's lengthy route connects Beitun, North, Xitun and Nantun districts, but has suffered from a variety of issues, including seriously bumpy surfaces caused by thickening tree roots and continuous road repairs. In addition, sidewalks on both sides of the road are cramped and not wheelchair-friendly, with bus stops/car parking spaces being other issues to be solved.

Other improvements to WenXin Road will include a permeable pavement design that allows rainwater to filter through the pavement to rocks below, thereby reducing drainage issues and saving energy by lowering the city heat levels. Plans call for sidewalk-widening and road rehabilitation work to occur simultaneously on road sections, with the six car lanes and roadside parking spaces that existed prior to Green Line construction being restored followed the line's completion.

Taichung City Government aims to transform WenXin Road into a people and environmentally friendly model route by the time the Metro Green Line starts operating at the end of next year. This road will integrate a "MR. B&B" (Metro-Rail-Bus-Bike) system that enhances convenient transportation transfers. As WenXin Road has a total length of 20.4 kilometers, widening sidewalks will be a complicated project requiring cooperation and communication between various city government departments. However, the government hopes to complete this project within a short period and minimize its effect on residents' daily lives.

Shelters will be created for 64 bus stops along WenXin Road and feature a recessed design to provide more walking space for pedestrians. The "MR. B&B" system will also be implemented via the addition of iBike stations at every Green Line Metro stop.

The Economic Affairs Bureau plans to complete 500 kilometers of city road rehabilitation within four years and progress to date has already covered 440 kilometers. Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has noted that residents' poll percentage of satisfaction for this project has risen from 18% to 52% as the city government continues improving road conditions.

Taichung City Government's core transportation concept is "humanistic, safe and green" and aims to meet residents' basic daily commuting needs with smooth, well-illuminated roads, together with a modern water pipe system that boosts the quality of life. "Mr. B&B" will also boost the urban transportation system by offering convenient commuting.

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