DELAYED FOR DECADES:The project was drawn up 28 years ago, but the city was unable to cover its portion of the cost. The Executive Yuan will now pay most of it
An NT$27.5 billion (US$886.1 million) elevated railway project for Chiayi that was on hold for nearly three decades was launched yesterday to enhance the city’s transportation and urban development.
The 10.9km elevated railway with three stations is to be built to connect the city center with its north end and Chiayi County’s Shuishang Township (水上), while a city rail yard is to be moved to Shuishang.
The project had been postponed for 28 years because the city government could not contribute the NT$12.8 billion it has been asked to contribute for construction.
Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said the Executive Yuan agreed to reduce the city’s share of construction costs to NT$3.89 billion, and the rest would be paid by the central government.
The project will be included in the Executive Yuan’s eight-year NT$1 trillion infrastructure project, which would be finalized and submitted to the Legislative Yuan by the end of this month, Lin said.
“An elevated railway network is the beginning of a new Chiayi. The project will not only improve transportation efficiency in the city, but also its urban development,” Lin said.
The concept of “smart” transportation will be introduced, and improvements are to be made in tourism, industrial development and urban renewal,” the premier said.
“The elevated railway project was proposed in 1989, and after nearly 30 years of development, the construction is finally to begin at the end of this year. It will be the beginning of the modernization of the city,” Chiayi Mayor Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) said.
While in Chiayi, Lin also inspected the construction of the city’s first sewerage project, which began last year and would be available for use in some areas of the city in August next year.
“A sewerage system plays a crucial role in a modernized society. Less than 30 percent of the nation’s wastewater enters sewer systems. Chiayi is one of the few places where [the percentage] is zero, which is a serious issue,” Lin said.
The NT$11.6 billion sewage system project, which centers on building 46km of underground pipes to connect 15,000 households to the sewer system, is expected to completed in 2032.