Bus services on Suhua Highway to resume after end of improvement work (Taiwan News)

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) Bus services will be resumed on the Suhua Highway (????) after an ongoing project to improve the highway is completed in 2017, Transportation Minister Chen Jian-yu (???) said Saturday. According to Jaw Shing-jau (???), director of the Directorate General of Highway, after the Suhua Highway improvement project is open to traffic, express bus services between Taipei and Hualien will be provided to allow more choices for people traveling to eastern Taiwan. Chen and Jaw made the remarks during the opening ceremony for an exhibition in Hualien on highways in eastern Taiwan and the Suhua Highway improvement project. The Suhua Highway is the main artery connecting southern Yilan County to Hualien County down Taiwan’s eastern coast. The highway’s winding, narrow roads perched above the Pacific Ocean are the scene of frequent accidents and are especially vulnerable to landslides, and calls for an upgrade gained urgency in 2010 after torrential rains from Typhoon Megi triggered lethal landslides on the road that killed 26 people. The 38.8 km Suhua Highway improvement project, which is aimed at improving road safety and reducing travel times between Su’ao of Yilan County and Hualien County, is divided into three sections — Su’ao to Dong’ao, Nan’ao to Heping, and Heping to Chingshui. It will use mostly tunnels to cut through mountainous terrain and replace the Suhua Highway’s most vulnerable stretches. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. (By Lee Shien-feng and Y.F. Low)