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Taipei City Goverment

City News

Mountain Roads to Beitou Hot Springs Upgraded

*On January 15, 2019, the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) reopened two side roads off of Xinyi Road in Taipei’s northern Beitou District to offer the public easier and safer access to this popular hot spring area. The agency redesigned and widened Lane 402 and Lane 300 off Xingyi Road by eight meters as part of a Taipei City Government policy decision in 2014 that declared the hot spring area along Xingyi Road a key hot spring district.
 
Lanes 402 and 300 used to vary in width between two to six meters, the GEO noted, which created inconvenient and unsafe situations for cars, scooters, and pedestrians moving up and down the hill. Since the area’s designation as a key hot spring district in 2014, the City has allocated annual budgets totaling NT$ 68,970,000 (USD 2.2 million) over the years to plan, design, and implement road work on both side streets, from improving the road beds and surfaces to constructing new covered roadside drainage ditches and landslide blocking walls, as well as improving bridges along these roads.
 
Both roads were widened to eight meters, while the slopes of certain stretches were lengthened and leveled. The improvements of the road surfaces and water drainage systems were implemented under the “sponge city” concept, which intends to mitigate the impact of heavy rainfall.
 
Since their reopening in January 2019, traffic along the improved Lane 402 and Lane 300 has been more convenient and safer. As this knowledge spreads, patronage of the hot springs in this area is expected to grow over time.
 
In connection with Taipei’s key hot spring policy, the Department of Economic Development (DOED) has drawn up a comprehensive plan for the Beitou hot spring area, which includes future construction of sidewalks and public parking lots and the reconstruction of creek and river banks in order to transform Beitou into a leading global hot spring area.
 
        Global warming is already causing heavier rainfall, said Chief Chen Yan-cheng of GEO’s Industrial and Trail Section. According to the “sponge city” concept, the agency employs porous asphalt concrete (PAC) to quickly drain water from the road surface to the covered roadside ditches to improve driving safety. The road improvement design took advantage of using locally excavated soil, which reduced environmental impact as well as expenses — a win-win for everyone.
 
Coordinating with the businesses in the area proved the most challenging part of the project, Chen added. Each stage of improving the road surfaces and excavating for pipes and wires required numerous coordination meetings with local businesses and residents to ensure the road work could proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible for everyone.
 
Chairman He of Mt. Shamao Hot Spring Association remarked that hot spring patrons used to have troubles driving and parking in the area. Traffic has become easier now that the roads have been widened, which will hopefully lead to more visitors in the future.