Premier Su Tseng-chang on Monday attended the official opening of improved sections of the Suhua Highway that connects Yilan and Hualien counties along Taiwan's rugged east coast. The premier saluted the frontline construction crews for a job well done, and said that the improvement project's completion sets the stage for a follow-on project to remediate road safety on three additional stretches of the route.
Emphasizing the necessity of a "safe road home," Premier Su said that on December 20, 2019 he approved a feasibility study for safety enhancements along the further three sections: from Dong'ao to Nan'ao, Heping to Hezhong, and Daqingshui to Chongde. With the opening today of the improved portions, an environmental impact assessment and general planning for the safety project will soon begin.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that today's newly opened sections connecting Nan'ao to Heping and Hezhong to Daqingshui complement the improved roadway between Su'ao and Dong'ao that entered service in February 2018. With construction spanning more than 3,200 days, the new stretches cut travel time between Su'ao and Chongde by a full hour from the two and a half previously required.
Taiwan's Provincial Highway No. 9, which includes the Suhua Highway, extends north to south for 455 kilometers, from the intersection of Zhongshan South Road and Zhongxiao East Road in Taipei City to Fenggang in Pingtung County's Fangshan Township. It is the nation's second-longest after Provincial Highway No. 1, and together they constitute a complete round-the-island road network.