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Suhua Highway reopened to traffic

2012/05/20 18:24:14

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) The Suhua Highway, which links Suao in Yilan County with Hualien County, was reopened to traffic Sunday after being partially closed following a torrential rain on May 12 that washed away the soil beneath the roadbed.

The section between Yilan's Nan-ao and Hualien's Heping was reopened after eight days of repair work, but the Directorate General of Highways warned travelers of possible landslides if torrential rain strikes again.

Chen Shih-chang, a section chief at the agency, said the repairs had been expected to take 10 days, but the lingering weather system's unexpectedly diminished rains in eastern Taiwan allowed workers to continue the repairs, while working in the rain, to more quickly allow travelers to return to the highway.

The repair project was completed Saturday evening and two-way traffic in the section was resumed at 2 p.m. the following day after workers finished clearing the road of debris, Chen said.

More than 40 tour buses and a number of trucks were reportedly waiting for a green light from the directorate general in Hualien one hour before traffic was resumed, he added.

Chen urged drivers to pay close attention to road conditions and be alert to possible landslides and falling rocks.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh, Andrew Liu and Jamie Wang)