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Mayor Ko Starts First Shield Machine of the Wanda Line – Beginning a New Construction Milestone

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je on August 30, took a site inspection of MRT Wanda line Taipei Botanical Garden Station construction and started the first shield construction machine. The shield machine will provide an important push for this MRT tunnel construction project and will advance towards Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station; furthermore, it symbolizes the formal entrance of Wanda line Phase I construction into a new milestone. Mayor Ko stated that construction of Wanda line Phase I is expected to be completed and opened for operation in late 2025. Moreover, it will drive a transformation of the core lines in Taipei City and become the primary booster of urban renewal.
Mayor Ko stated in his address that in order to rescue the Taipei Botanical Garden site, over three years were spent carrying out the rescue and excavation work of the site for Wanda line Taipei Botanical Garden Station construction. This portion was different from the implementation of other large-scale construction projects, with everything being dug up by shovel using human labor. Although the work was highly taxing, it ensured the true preservation of cultural relics and historical context. To date, the diaphragm wall, excavation support, and station floor structure at Taipei Botanical Garden Station have all been completed. After the first shield machine was started at Taipei Botanical Garden Station, it began its advance towards Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station with Wanda line construction formally entering into a new milestone.
Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) explained that Taipei Botanical Garden Station is located beneath Nanhai Rd. between the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and Mandarin Experimental Elementary School, and the station is located within a historical site (Botanical Garden). In addition, with a length of 124.6 meters, a width of 20.75 meters, and an excavation depth of 25.5 meters (eight underground levels), it is Taipei MRT’s smallest station. In order to preserve the integrity of the site and the cultural relics, 44 months of "human-labor archaeological excavations" were carried out, and while the archaeological team were excavating the site, they simultaneously implemented a survey of the cultural site.  After these tasks were carried out, the actual station construction commenced. This is also the reason that the station body size was required to be reduced as much as possible and the construction was launched at an earlier stage than other standard projects. It is expected to be completed at the same time as the other construction contracts on the Wanda line.
DORTS also stated that MRT Wanda line is an important transportation construction project which is driver of development in the Wanhua area, and it is divided into a total of two phases. Furthermore, a medium-capacity system construction with development in stages will be adopted for the line. Phase I construction will run from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station to Jincheng Depot in Tucheng with a total length of 9.5 km and will employ underground construction with a total of nine stations and one depot; moreover, four of the stations will be located within the scope of Taipei City. Phase II construction will run from Jincheng Depot to Huilong Station in Xinzhuang with a total length of 13.3 km and 13 stations, including two underground stations and 11 elevated stations, and it will be located entirely within the territory of New Taipei City.
DORTS further stated that the Wanda line route is  located in areas of Taipei City which were developed earlier and that they will consequently face a number of challenges in the construction environments; therefore, the laying of fences and traffic maintenance plans have been meticulously formulated. In addition to numerous pipelines beneath the roads, during the construction of Wanda line, numerous challenges will be encountered, including cultural sites, ancient rivers, drainage culverts, and crossing of the Xindian River. On August 30, Mayor Ko took an inspection of the construction site for Taipei Botanical Garden Station, which is located near Nanhai Rd. and Heping W. Rd. It is also located within a “Botanical Garden historical site” which was populated by humans approximately 4,000 years ago, and in addition to construction, archaeological work is also being implemented at the site. In the future, the historical relics will be integrated into the architectural design of Taipei Botanical Garden Station to form an underground cultural gallery. In addition to transportation functionality, this will enable the MRT station to also bear the responsibility of transmitting historical heritage.
DORTS stated that once Wanda line is opened to the public for operation, there will be transfer connections with Songshan-Xindian line and Tamsui-Xinyi line at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station. In the future, it will also be possible to transfer to the Xinzhuang line to provide circular transportation service to alleviate traffic congestion on the Zhongxing Bridge and Fuzhou Bridge. This will satisfy travel requirements in Wanhua, Zhonghe, Tucheng, and Shulin districts in order to provide the public with more convenient transportation services. Everyone is welcome to visit the DORTS website (https://www.dorts.gov.taipei) where they can search for the current construction status of MRT projects.