Honored with the prestigious Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) by the International Road Federation (IRF) in 2020 for the Suhua Highway Improvement Project, CECI and the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) were unable to meet with members of the IRF and collect the trophy in person, as the 2020 award ceremony was held online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This year, however, the 2020 winners have been invited to the United Arab Emirates’ Grand Hyatt Dubai to receive the awards and celebrate this momentous achievement together. CECI’s representative Vice President Mr. Huang Ping-Hsun attended this festive event held on November 8 together with representatives of the DGH and Sinotech Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd., and were joined by Director General of the Commercial Office of Taipei in Dubai Mr. Yang and head of the Consular Division Mr. Ma.
Winning this historic award marks the second time that CECI has been recognized by the IRF after being selected as the Design Category winner in 2015 for the National Freeway No. 1 Wuyang Viaduct project. Such considerable global recognition not only once again showcases the innovative and technological strength of Taiwan’s engineering, but also its particular attention to aspects of sustainability and environmental friendliness in the execution of major public works, as well as the willingness to share its expertise with the rest of the world. With such a solid international “stamp of approval”, Taiwan makes another step to reestablishing its firm position as one of the leaders of global engineering.
CECI’s involvement with the Suhua Highway Improvement Project commenced in early 2009 with the feasibility study, moving on later to the engineering planning and design and, ultimately, to the construction supervision services. From the very outset, the concepts of sustainability and a thoughtful attention to the local environment were at the core of the project team’s philosophy. The team continuously reviewed all – even the most basic – of the project’s assumptions, undertook rigorous environmental investigations and maintained engagement with the local public, thoroughly researched the local geology and hydrology, performed route optimization exercises and adopted the safest and most efficient tunnel construction methods, took strict measures for a construction impact mitigation, designed optimal mechanisms for earthwork haulage, construction shutdown mechanisms, and long-term environmental monitoring. For the tunnel section, advanced tunnel ventilation systems, proactive fire protection facilities, and a smart traffic control system were installed to make this mountainous highway a true model for future roadways in terms of its entire lifecycle safety, environmental protection and technological sophistication. During the construction phase, an environmental protection supervision team was set up to supervise and oversee the implementation of the EIA commitments; local aboriginal tribes were consulted for a comprehensive mitigation of social impacts, making this highway a landmark in transparent two-side dialogue in public infrastructure construction.
The Suao - Dongao section of the new highway was given a priority in opening to traffic in February 2018, with the rest of the improved section to follow in January 2020. The new road features the vehicle type separation management model which allows a reduction of the driving distance and saves time, as well as significantly brings down accident related costs. It is currently estimated that with these improvements, the project’s total annual benefit amounts to NTD 3.97 billion per year.