Official wants Kinmen Bridge completion date moved up

Taipei--The head of the Public Construction Commission, Wu Hong-mo (???), has asked that completion of the Kinmen Bridge project be moved up by about nine months to the end of 2019, without giving a reason why the work should be expedited.

Wu gave the directive during a tour of outlying Kinmen County last week, and he also said that no construction site accidents would be tolerated during construction of the bridge connecting the islands of Greater Kinmen and Lieyu, also known as Little Kinmen.

Work on the 5.4-km bridge began on Dec. 28, 2016 and was scheduled to be completed on Sept. 25, 2020, according to a briefing given by the Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau on the construction site.

After hearing the briefing, however, Wu said it would be better to shorten the project's construction time and move the projected completion date to the end of 2019, but he did not explain his reasoning behind the request.

According to Lin De-gong (???), the secretary-general of the Kinmen County government, a total of NT$7.385 billion (US$239.93 billion) was originally budgeted for the project, of which NT$3.957 billion was to come from the central government and NT$3.428 billion from the county.

After repeated delays pushed the projected completion date to September 2020, however, the project's budget grew to about NT$9 billion.

Performance bonds collected from contractors who did not meet their obligations will cover part of the gap, but a shortfall of about NT$500 million will still remain, Lin said.

He hoped that the central government will cover two-thirds of the outstanding costs and the local government the balance, as per an agreement approved by the Executive Yuan in August 2016 on financing any necessary additional expenditures.

The project has suffered many twists and turns to date, including the termination of construction contracts in 2012 because the contracted construction company was not qualified to bid on the project.

Another contract was terminated in June 2016 because the contracted construction company was behind schedule and the Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau determined it did not have the ability to fulfill its contractual obligations.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel