Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Amid high winds and occasional rain from an approaching typhoon, the Bureau of High Speed Rail (BHSR) held a ceremony Friday to celebrate the completion of the elevated section of a new metro line that connects Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
The construction of the 51 kilometer-long MRT Airport Line's main structure has finished, BHSR officials announced. Now, the project enters a new stage where the installation of electronic systems will take place.
Barring any glitches, the long-anticipated metro system will be able to start commercial services by June 2013.
The MRT Airport Line, one of the government's new 10 major national construction projects, starts from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2, extends eastward to Terminal 1, and passes through townships in Taoyuan County and districts of New Taipei, including Linkou, Gueishan, Sinjhuang, Taishan and Sanchong before entering Taipei City.
The line also reaches southward through Taoyuan's high-speed rail station to Jhongli City. It consists of 22 stations, of which15 are elevated and seven are underground, with two maintenance depots.
The elevated section stretches 40km, according to BHSR.
The Airport Line connects key transport hubs in northern Taiwan, including the Taipei Main Station, Taoyuan High-Speed Railway Station and the airport, as well as Taipei City's metro network.
The NT$113.85 billion (US$3.9 billion) project binds together international air and domestic traffic services, BHSR said.
BHSR officials said one of its unique features is the elevated section crossing National Highway No. 1, which sports v-shaped bridge piers. The bridge, spanning 279 meters, enables a broad visual field for drivers on the highway, BHSR officials said, calling the flyover a landmark structure of the project.
(By Wang Shu-fen and Elizabeth Hsu)