October 30 marks a truly historic date for Taiwan’s engineering with the Kinmen County Government and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications jointly holding the long-awaited ceremony of opening the Kinmen Bridge to traffic. Presiding over the ceremony were the Executive Yuan Vice President Mr. Shen Jong-chin, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mr. Wang Kwo-tsai, and the Kinmen County Magistrate Mr. Yang Chen-wu.
With a total length of 5.4 kilometers and a main span of 200 meters supported by 5 towers that reach 78 meters above the ocean waters, the Kinmen Bridge stretches over the 23 meter deep Kinmen-Lieyu Waterway, and is Taiwan’s first cross-sea extradosed bridge. From the very outset, CECI Engineering Consultants, Inc., Taiwan was closely involved with this momentous and remarkable project: being first selected in 2003 by the Freeway Bureau as the planning and design consultant; and then dispatching its personnel on-site to perform construction supervision from 2011 until its completion. Representing CECI’s team at the bridge opening, Chairman Shih Yi-Fang noted the historic significance of this moment—for the nation, the company, and for every one of CECI’s employees—when after an incredible amount of effort and over a decade of perseverance the project finally came to fruition transforming transportation flows in Kinmen and creating another landmark of Taiwan’s infrastructure. Chairman Shih emphasized the contribution of CECI’s engineers who had braved the severe site weather conditions around the clock, stayed away from their families, and demonstrated top-notch engineering skills and ingenuity.
To Kinmen Bridge project is known for its complexity and challenging conditions: the project team had to consider rough ocean environment, a varying and non-uniform granite bedrock geology, and many other difficulties related to meeting requirements for the navigating channels, landscaping, constructability, and of course schedule and costs. The bridge design — selected through a vote by Kinmen residents — was inspired by the shape of a sorghum’s spikelet, as a tribute to the crop from which the world famous Kaoliang Liquor is locally produced. The five pylons of the bridge symbolize solidarity between the five townships of Kinmen County in their joint efforts towards prosperity.