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Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby Abacus » 28 Feb 2013, 22:13

I'm not sure who your sources are but that sounds impossible. It's nice to hear that they are working on it though.

Here was the road almost immediately north of Taoyuan Jr High School on November 25th. Can you see the little dirt road in the riverbed? I followed that road for about 4 kms and I saw no signs of a permanent road or any heavy construction equipment and my best guess is that there is close to 10 kms of road that is temporarily in the riverbed. That's before you get to the mountain roads which also needs considerable work by every account I've heard. But perhaps a bike trip is in order to further investigate this. I was planning on biking up there anyway since there isn't any traffic and I haven't been all the way up yet.

Image
South Cross Island Highway, Taiwan by abacus07, on Flickr

As a comparison of how long it takes to build stuff this is the impressive Maolin bridge that they have been working on for over a year.

Image
Maolin, Taiwan by abacus07, on Flickr
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 28 Feb 2013, 22:48

That's a beautiful picture!!!!

Apparently they fixed that section of road on Boxing Day. I've never been up there so I don't know. I actually live close enough that I could just pop up to check it out though, I suppose, especially now the weather's nice.

This isn't the source I had originally (no idea where that went) but here's an article saying that they want the entire thing open by May.
http://www.cdns.com.tw/20130204/news/df ... 512323.htm
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby Abacus » 28 Feb 2013, 23:04

I guess you aren't really understanding my disbelief. I find it impossible that they fixed a nearly 10 km stretch of road in a matter of months when there was no construction equipment present or foundations built. That is what the article says though. Imo the only fix they could have done is to call that temporary dirt road in the riverbed the fix. That road beat the hell out of my car and I would never again take my car on it.
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 01 Mar 2013, 00:00

It does seem a bit farfetched. But that stretch NEEDED to be open, because without it I think the other part of Taoyuan was completely isolated (couldn't go East or West)

They could have stabilised that road and made it slightly more permanent, I suppose. I think the idea is to open up access to the roads further back. I'm not sure if they're going to try and open up a basic road along the whole thing then bring in the heavier machinery to lay the road properly, or if they're going to do it in stages. I've never been on it, so I have no idea about the terrain.

It'd be interesting to see how they're going to build it though. I imagine a road only big enough for cars and minibuses wouldn't handle big machinery very well.
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby engerim » 01 Mar 2013, 00:52

I hike quite often around that area (last time just before Chinese New Year). The Yushan National Park website is quite clear on it:
http://www.ysnp.gov.tw/en/travel/view_i ... aspx?cid=8

Provincial Highway 20: 110km ~ 147km no entry allowed

That is until 向陽山. As far as I know no schedule if it ever opens again. That road has never been in a perfect condition...
Image
Check Streetview and drive it down "virtually" a bit: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=%E5%90%9 ... .77,,0,1.1

Its amazing landscape there with frequent, amazing land slides in case of rain. :roll:

Chinese: http://www.ysnp.gov.tw/information.aspx?informationID=2
因莫拉克風災導致道路嚴重受損,管制路段:1.台20線110K~145.9K~153K(梅山口~埡口~向陽森林遊樂區)道路封閉、禁止車輛進入。2.台20線95K~110K(桃源村~梅山口)禁止大型車進入(總重3.5噸以上及10人座以上客車)。
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby tommy525 » 01 Mar 2013, 01:22

Wish I had made an effort to drive it when it was open. Never thought it would ever be permanently closed as it appears to be now (the road as it was) . Just like never thought the section of EW Higway from Kukuan to Lishan would become permanently closed either. But glad I did that road several times. IT was pretty awesome.
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby Mucha Man » 01 Mar 2013, 18:53

I am curious what all this massive disruption of local economies means. Yes, a few hundred people in tiny isolated villages are being affected but that doesn't justify spending billions. This is pure pork and face saving nonsense. The road will never reopen in any meaningful sense.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby haokaiyang » 02 Mar 2013, 16:59

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:... here's an article saying that they want the entire thing open by May.
http://www.cdns.com.tw/20130204/news/df ... 512323.htm

Thanks for sharing! This is the first I've heard of any plans to reopen the road.

Mucha Man wrote:I am curious what all this massive disruption of local economies means. Yes, a few hundred people in tiny isolated villages are being affected but that doesn't justify spending billions. This is pure pork and face saving nonsense. The road will never reopen in any meaningful sense.

Granted, I've never been up there, but I have to disagree. Taiwan's hengduan gonglu aren't just for the people who live along them, they're also for hikers, cyclists, tourists, and ordinary people who want to see the mountains. I agree that there's a balance between development and protecting the environment--obviously not every mountain needs a road, especially when building one would be prohibitively expensive--but three cross-island highways hardly seems excessive, and the costs mentioned in tsukinodeynatsu's article are high but not ridiculous.
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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby Mucha Man » 02 Mar 2013, 19:39

haokaiyang wrote:
tsukinodeynatsu wrote:... here's an article saying that they want the entire thing open by May.
http://www.cdns.com.tw/20130204/news/df ... 512323.htm

Thanks for sharing! This is the first I've heard of any plans to reopen the road.

Muzha Man wrote:I am curious what all this massive disruption of local economies means. Yes, a few hundred people in tiny isolated villages are being affected but that doesn't justify spending billions. This is pure pork and face saving nonsense. The road will never reopen in any meaningful sense.

Granted, I've never been up there, but I have to disagree. Taiwan's hengduan gonglu aren't just for the people who live along them, they're also for hikers, cyclists, tourists, and ordinary people who want to see the mountains. I agree that there's a balance between development and protecting the environment--obviously not every mountain needs a road, especially when building one would be prohibitively expensive--but three cross-island highways hardly seems excessive, and the costs mentioned in tsukinodeynatsu's article are high but not ridiculous.


Yes, but there are no settlements up there past Taoyuan. The entire closed section has no villages. Yes, it means cyclists and hikers and sightseers can't go in but they weren't spending much money since there is no where to spend it.

There is also no reason that the whole thing can't be a hiking/mountain bike route.

Btw, last I read the highway department was claiming it would make such repairs as to keep the road open, but would not be rebuilding. So I suspect abacus is correct that there has been no reconstruction of that 10km. The river bed is the road.

For what it's worth I am not opposed to the road. It's just that I am familiar with the terrain and the damage and am quite sure it will never remain open. There is a point on the highway where you can actually see the Phillipine plate sliding over (or under can't remember which) the Eurasian. It's a very volatile and fragile place that was hit with the biggest rainfall in 200 years.

As a geologist friend said, Taiwan's rocks are shit. This place has one of the highest yearly tectonic uplifts of anywhere on earth, with a concurrent erosion. Almost unheard of. At some point the authorities are just going to have to give up. The geology here just isn't getting more stable.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Is Highway 20 Open or How to Find Out?

Postby haokaiyang » 03 Mar 2013, 14:06

It would be awesome if it reopened as a trail for cyclists and hikers. I don't see a need for cars, much less for tour buses. If you want to drive from the southwest to the southeast or vice versa, I assume it's faster and easier to just go down to the Nanhui (南迴) part of Highway 9.
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