Following the remarkable privilege of being selected as the only winner of the prestigious Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) from the International Road Federation (IRF) in 2020, the Suhua Highway Improvement Project has now been also honored with another major international trophy: the Outstanding Civil Engineering Project Award from the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council. This broad international recognition reflects the outstanding level of engineering displayed by the entire team in implementing this complex and challenging road project.
The award ceremony was held on September 22 in Goa, India and the Taiwan delegation led by Directorate General of Highways Deputy Director Mr. Lin Tsung-li was there to receive this important trophy in person. Being once again chosen for such an important international award demonstrates Taiwan’s place as one of Asia’s leaders in advanced and sustainable transportation engineering. And for CECI Engineering Consultants, Inc., Taiwan—which has been closely involved with the project as the planning and design and then as supervision consultant—this represents another milestone in implementing truly transformative large-scale projects, which utilize modern engineering and traffic management technologies and are carefully crafted to minimize negative impacts on the natural environment. CECI Chairman Shih Yi-Fang conveyed the company’s deep appreciation to all those who have worked on this massive undertaking, sparing no effort and contributing to further improving Taiwan’s highway network.
With a total length of about 38.8 kilometers, the improved highway was opened to traffic in early 2020. The new Suhua Corridor runs through a rugged mountainous terrain on Taiwan’s east coast, in an environment of supreme natural beauty. Protecting the local environment, while making the route safe and convenient for the drivers was the project team’s main challenge. To accomplish this, rigorous environmental investigations were performed, communication channels established and maintained with the local public, the local geology and hydrology thoroughly researched, route optimization exercises were carried out and the safest and most efficient tunnel construction methods were adopted. The team took care to implement strict measures for construction impact mitigation, designed optimal mechanisms for earthwork haulage, construction shutdown mechanisms, and for long-term environmental monitoring. All this results in a road that integrates the newest engineering and construction methods and solutions, minimizes environmental impacts, and is more resistant to natural disasters.
Very importantly, the project will contribute to balancing the economic development between Taiwan’s east and west coasts, benefiting the local communities, and will bring more tourist into this area renowned for its majestic landscapes.