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Mayor Chiang Inspects the Most Difficult MRT Construction in History Xinyi Eastern Extension Construction Expected to Be Completed in 2025

MRT Xinyi eastern extension construction is expected to be completed in late 2025. In the morning of April 10th, Taipei City Mayor Chiang Wan-an inspected Guangci/Fengtian Temple Station in order to gain an understanding of the most difficult challenges that have been faced during the MRT construction project. He also gave encouragement to the colleagues working on the site. 

DORTS explained that Xinyi eastern extension continues eastbound from the tail track of the Xinyi line at Xiangshan Station beneath Section 6, Xinyi Road to Fude Street in front of Guangci Charity Park. It then runs via a shield tunnel beneath Fude Street and Zhongpo South Road and terminates at Yucheng Park. With a total length of 1.4km, one underground station will be established along with a tail track for operations dispatches. 

Mayor Chiang Wan-an stated that Xinyi eastern extension is the last section of the high capacity system which is currently under construction in the Taipei MRT route network. Xinyi eastern extension extends from Xiangshan Station to Guangci/Fengtian Temple Station, and although it is only a short distance, it connects eastern and western traffic in downtown Taipei; moreover, it also further expands the living circle of Taipei MRT. Following the smooth completion of this construction project, it will be convenient for the public to go to nearby Tiger Mountain, worship in temples, and make contact with the Xinyi Administrative Center to negotiate business affairs.

Mayor Chiang pointed out that the final piece of the Circular line puzzle, Circular line east section, was approved by the Executive Yuan on March 29. In the future, there will be transfers between Circular line and Xinyi line where they intersect at Xiangshan Station, and after Circular line east section is opened for operations, the travel time from Guangci/Fengtian Temple Station to Neihu Technology Park will be reduced from 40 minutes to 17 minutes. Mayor Chiang also stated that he believes that in the future people will increasingly rely on the MRT system, which will provide green energy resources for the 2050 net-zero carbon vision.

Mayor Chiang stated that because of the operational requirements of the terminal station on the route, the excavation scale of the entire station is nearly double that of the medium capacity stations on the Wanda line and the Circular line. At the same time, the excavation depth of this station is approximately ten floors underground, and the route extends adjacent to the foothills of Four Beasts Mountain, which is on the edge of the Taipei Basin. Consequently, the project faces the challenges of complex geological conditions, and having encountered challenges from the soft clay of shallow mud swamps to deep super-hard rock plates, it could be considered the most difficult construction project in the history of the MRT.

During his speech, Mayor Chiang specially mentioned that the MRT team has had to overcome harsh construction environments. The commencement of construction of the Xinyi eastern extension in October 2016 coincided with factors such as the progressive amendment of labor rights protection “One Fixed Day Off and One Flexible Rest Day per Week”, severe and highly infectious pneumonia in recent years, and unfavorable conditions in the general environment of the construction industry, which made the construction process even more difficult. Mayor Chiang expressed his extreme gratitude to the outstanding MRT engineering team for continuing to work hard to carry out various improvements and called on the engineering team to adhere to the premise of putting construction safety first in the promotion of their work. 

2nd DPO further elaborated that the two sections of shield tunnels for this route both contain single-circle double-hole up-track and down-track tunnels, and that the total length of the four tunnels is 2,014 meters. Currently the construction has already entered the peak period of station structure construction, and the excavation of the 3rd and 4th shield tunnels is also currently underway. As of the end of March 2023, the length of the tunnel has reached 1,325 meters (66%); furthermore, in the 2 shield tunnels which have already been completed, the rails will be hoisted into the rail areas and welding operations will commence in mid-April as a move towards the next phase of construction milestones.

2nd DPO emphasized that the most challenging and unexpected difficulties in the history of any MRT project have been encountered during construction of the Xinyi eastern extension. Nevertheless, with their spirit and attitude of professional conscientiousness, the construction team has still overcome the challenges of high-risk projects one by one. 2nd DPO also mentioned that although construction progress is currently behind schedule, the status of follow up construction is already under control, and it will be possible for the construction to be completed before the end of 2025. Following completion of construction, the route will be opened for operations after preliminary and final inspections.