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Renovation of Anti-flooding Huazong Bridge (over Jiangjun River)

An important north-south transport corridor between Tainan City’s Xuejia and Jiangjun Districts, the Huazong Bridge was reopened on October 15, 2013 as a 3-span architectural wonder after being closed for 976 calendar days. Amid exciting drum and martial arts performances by Xuejia and Linghe Elementary Schools, Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-te cut ribbons on this brand new, light blue bridge alongside Wu Zong-rong, Director-General of Tainan Public Works Bureau, Huang Shi-wei, head of Water Resources Agency’s 6th River Management Office, Tainan City Councilors Xie Cai-wang and Hou Cheng-cai, Xuejia District Executive Ciu Zhi-rong and Jiangjun District Executive Chen Yi-dun, with people from nearby neighborhoods eager to catch a glimpse of their long-awaited, cross-district traffic amenity.

Mayor Lai began his congratulatory remarks by praising not only the new bridge that is convenient, beautiful and safe, but also how the residents put up with troubles associated with its construction. He expected that the bridge, the first three-span, tied-arch steel one in Taiwan, together with the improved Jiangjun River, will achieve maximum benefits as a flood protection solution and a tourism asset as valuable as Yilan’s Dongshan River, a classic example of sightseer-luring river restoration. He also announced the October 20, 2013 inauguration of Provincial Highway No. 84, which straddles both Beimen and Yujing Districts to ensure a direct link from the anti-flooding bridge in Xuejia District to Xuejia Interchange and Xiaying System Interchange, eventually making Xuejia, Jiangjun and Beimen areas much more accessible. Meantime, he promised to keep perfecting the Xuejia Industrial Park, a major concern for the locals, as part of a plan to bolster regional economy through strengthened river hydrological efficiency, flood control, transportation and employment.

In an all-out effort to plan and build roads and bridges, among other amenities that safeguard road users, the City Government spent NT$2.2 billion odd on 35 bridge renovation projects across Greater Tainan (among them 29 have been completed), including 6 along Jiangjun River, among which the Huazong Bridge project is the largest and most costly, according to Tainan Public Works Bureau’s Director-General Wu. Comprising an old-fashioned, 10-meter-wide deck bridge and a 5.2-meter-wide pipeline bridge running along it, the old Huazong Bridge had 9 notorious abutments that blocked water flow and was too low-hanging to act as an effective sluiceway during torrential rains, leaving the adjacent neighborhoods flood-prone. During the daunting task of remodeling the bridge, which re-emerged as Taiwan’s one and only steel bridge with 3 arch ribs, wider than ever and 1.6 meters higher above water without being anchored to any abutments, half of the roadway was closed at a time to ease congestion. The new bridge and the rectified Jiangjun River, reinforced with an embankment drainage system and box culverts, are believed to further meet the standards for regional drainage, flood-control and flood-regulating capacities.

Measuring 127 meters in length and 14 meters in width, the reworked Huazong Bridge has a tied-arch, 3-span steel structure designed and constructed by CECI Engineering Consultants Inc. from December 9, 2010 through August 10, 2013 in a NT$180 million-plus project that involved two 274-meter northern and southern approach roads, besides a flood-control revetment work stretching 30 meters upstream and 30 meters downstream. Boasting extraordinary functionality, design and eco-preservation features, this new landmark will enhance the accessibility of County Highway No. 171 and Provincial Highway No. 19 while doubling as an effective flood solution, a recreation facility and even a tourist mecca.