Post by Basil Jet
From the Taipei Times dated Friday 4th Oct:
Bridge only inspected once, TIPC says
'Untimed Bombs': Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-Lin said
that of the nation's 29,811 bridges, 21,526 managed by local government
were of most concern
The Nanfangao Bridge in Yilan County's Suao Township, which collapsed on
Tuesday, was only inspected once - by the county government - in the 21
years it was open, said Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) chairman Wu
Chung-rung, whose resignation was provisionally accepted yesterday.
After construction of the bridge was completed in 1998, it was turned over
to the Keelung Port Bureau - the predecessor of the TIPC's Port of Keelung
- Wu told the Legislative Yuan's Transportation Committee in Taipei.
State-run TIPC was created in 2012, but since then the bridge was only
inspected "that one time" by Taoyuan's Chien Hsin University of Science and
Technology, he said, referring to an inspection commissioned by the Yilan
County Government and carried out by the University in 2016.
Of the 17 bridges under the company's jurisdiction, one is the Nanfangao
Bridge, three were built last year, five have been inspected and eight have
never been inspected, he said.
The company is to inspect the eight bridges, all of which are in central or
southern Taiwan, within three months, he said.
Minister for Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung said that he
had accepted Wu’s resignation.
While he has accepted the resignation, the company "has its own
administrative procedures which we must also respect’" Lin said.
"Right now, our top priority is to ... deal with the aftermath’" he said.
"No matter what the cause [of the incident] was ... we must express our
apologies to the nation's people and take responsibility," he told the
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-Lin, who is a convener of
the committee, proposed a bureau under the Ministry of Transport and
Communications to integrate the management of Taiwan’s bridges.
There are 29,811 bridges in Taiwan - 3,698 managed by the
Directorate-General of Highways, 2,753 managed by the Freeway Bureau,
21,526 managed by local governments, 17 managed by TIPC, 1,797 managed by
the Taiwan Railways Administration and 20 managed by Taiwan High Speed Rail
Corp, Yeh said.
Of the bridges, she is "more concerned" about the 21,526 under the
jurisdiction of local governments, Yeh said, describing them as "untimed
She does not want to see any further bridge incidents resulting in death or
injury, she said.
Integration is needed regardless of whether a bridges' bureau is formed,
Lin said the ministry would consider the proposal.