Taiwan's Southern Cross Island Highway reopens after 13-year closure

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(CNN) — Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway has reopened to the nationalist pursuing a 13-year closure.

The alpine highway, which was fashionable with tourists arsenic good arsenic locals owed to its way done rural, scenic parts of the island, was devastated by a typhoon successful 2009. More than 90% of the roadworthy was damaged and 22 bridges were washed away.

The 154 km (96-mile) agelong highway, which links Tainan City successful southwest Taiwan with Taitung City connected the southeast, cuts done Taiwan's Yushan National Park -- location to the island's highest peak, Jade Mountain -- and meanders done the imposing Central Mountain Range.

Along the way, drivers walk stream gorges and alpine lakes, arsenic good arsenic blistery springs, hiking trails and gigantic cypress woods.

The highest constituent is Yakou, astatine 2722 meters (8,930 feet) supra oversea level. The scenic "sea of clouds" determination has agelong been fashionable with photographers.

More than 5,800 vehicles entered the road connected the archetypal time of opening, according to Taiwan's Directorate General of Highways, which oversees each roads connected the island.

That is bully quality for the visitor-deprived island, which has mislaid retired connected tourer gross during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Taiwan has eased introduction restrictions implicit the past 2 months and chopped location oregon edifice quarantine from 10 days to 7 days, effectual May 9, leisure tourists are still incapable to visit. This has made home question adjacent much captious for section tourism.

The road reopened to car and motorbike postulation connected May 1, conscionable successful clip for the engaged Labor Day vacation weekend, erstwhile galore Taiwanese question locally.

The road  cuts done  immoderate   of Taiwan's Central Mountain Range.

The road cuts done immoderate of Taiwan's Central Mountain Range.

From the Directorate General of Highways

The reopening has been a agelong clip coming.

Early on, rebuilt sections were wiped distant aft typhoons oregon dense rain, sending engineers backmost to the drafting board.

Ultimately, engineers dredged heavy into the stone beds, built retaining walls from much than 120 shipping containers, installed drainage pipes and accrued vegetation connected slopes to curb landslides and erosion of the roadworthy beds.

In addition, parts of the road are truthful constrictive that ample operation instrumentality couldn't beryllium used.

At immoderate of the much unsafe alpine sections, operation workers often had to cling from cliffsides with ropes to implicit the repairs, including mounting nets, spraying cement and securing beams.

"I conjecture this is what hanging by a thread means," Lin Wen-lung, a operation contractor told section media successful April this year.

Due to the challenging conditions, travelers indispensable abide by immoderate rules.

Popular Yakou volition beryllium closed connected each Tuesday and Thursday, and motorists are required to participate the conception betwixt 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. connected each different days truthful arsenic to minimize the interaction connected nocturnal animals there.

Additionally, lone vehicles beneath 5 metric tons successful weight, rider vehicles with up to 9 radical and motorcycles are allowed entree there.

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