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Mayor Chiang Wan-an Presides Over the Groundbreaking Ceremony for MRT Circular Line North Section, Shezi Section

A new milestone has been reached for the eagerly-anticipated MRT Circular line north & south section construction! On March 21, adjacent to Shezheng Park in Shilin District, Taipei City, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for section contract CF690C of the Taipei City section of the Circular line north section, which connects Taipei City Shilin and Shezi areas and New Taipei City Luzhou District. Taipei City Mayor Chiang Wan-an presided over the ceremony, and central and local government VIP guests from all walks of life were invited to pray together for the smooth completion of the project on schedule and in accordance with quality standards.

DORTS First District Project Office (1st DPO), which is responsible for this project, explained that section contract CF690C has a total length of 2.7km, and in December last year Hwang Chang Construction won the bidding for over NT$10.2 billion. The construction scope of section contract CF690C runs eastbound from Station Y23 (not included) near Wuhua Elementary School on Jixian Rd., Sanchong District, New Taipei City and crosses beneath the Tamsui River by means of a shield tunnel and follows alongside Chongyang Bridge through Shilin and Shezi to Station Y24, which is established in Shezheng Park before crossing the Keelung River to the western side of the intersection of Zhongzheng Rd. and Shishang Rd. to a pocket track. The project includes one station (Station Y24), one escape shaft on the eastern and western sides of the Tamsui River, one section of pocket track (approximately 194m), and two shield tunnels.

In his speech Mayor Chiang Wan-an stated that Circular line Phase II north & south section is divided into eight civil construction projects, and under the diligent efforts of the city government team, this section contract is the first project to commence construction on the Taipei City section of the north section. To date construction of five contracts have already commenced on the north & south section. It is hoped that the contracts for the follow-up projects will be issued as soon as possible to enable Circular line Phase II construction to get fully underway and to achieve the goal of constructing a ring-shaped route network for Taipei MRT as soon as possible!

Mayor Chiang Wan-an also mentioned that the construction project which commenced today will connect important traffic sections in the route network between New Taipei City and Taipei City, and it is also a section with high engineering risks and challenges. Following the completion of construction, it will not only solve the traffic congestion problem for people commuting to and from work between Taipei City and New Taipei City, increase ridership, and bring overall transportation efficiency into full play, but also reduce the number of cars and motorcycles in use in Taipei City and New Taipei City to achieve the objective of reducing carbon emissions. Mayor Chiang Wan-an pointed out that Station Y24, which is located at Shezheng Park in Shezi, has been long-awaited by the public and is a major construction project which will change the city's appearance and drive local prosperity. He also stated that he would like to make a special point of sincerely requesting that people along the line have understanding and tolerance for the inconveniences and impacts which will caused during the construction period. 

DORTS stated that following the completion of construction of the north section, travel times between Taipei City and New Taipei City will be dramatically reduced, and the original 32-minute-ride from New Taipei Industrial Park Station to Shilin Station will be reduced to 20 minutes, and the 49-minute-ride to Jiannan Road Station will be reduced to just 28 minutes. A convenient MRT route network will significantly increase people’s willingness to ride and reduce the usage of private vehicles. This will not only have the capability of solving traffic issues in the Taipei City and New Taipei City area but will also be of assistance to energy conservation and carbon reduction. 

DORTS Commissioner Cheng De-fa specifically pointed out that the construction of this section crosses the Tamsui River and the Keelung River, which makes the construction risks and challenges extremely high. These challenges include construction of tunnels crossing two rivers, the Tamsui River and the Keelung River, via shield tunnels, raising the possibility of encountering driftwood and pedestrian bridges in the Shezi area as well as conflicts with the Bailing Bridge’s underground foundation piles in Shilin. This will necessitate multiple openings to break down the structure, and the construction risks are extremely high.

1st DPO further emphasized that the excavation depth of the shield tunnel for this section contract is 45 meters, and a press-in caisson with a depth of 52 meters was employed for the escape shaft adjacent to the Huanhe N. Rd. Expressway. Both of these reached record depths in the history of MRT construction. The project also includes an underground stacked platform station in the Shezi area which is adjacent to private houses and entails complex construction techniques, such as crossing embankments and freezing methods, all of which are highly challenging. Nevertheless, the MRT engineering team will devise means of overcoming the challenges one by one.

In order to celebrate the official launch of the MRT project, after the ceremony concluded, a series of celebration activities were immediately launched on-site. On-site booths included a public welfare stress-relief massage booth, a parent-and-child painting booth, fun activities, and a wide-variety of mobile food trucks, which enabled the public to participate in the event. They could record and witness the local joyous events while simultaneously relieving physical and mental stress and multiplying happiness.