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Secretariat, Taipei City Government

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Taipei City DORTS Clarifies Method of Handling Circular Line North Section & South Section Contracts

Taipei City DORTS Clarifies Method of Handling Circular Line North Section & South Section Contracts
Regarding media reports that “New Taipei City’s request to revise the method of handling contracts to turnkey contract for the Circular line north & south section could dramatically reduce the duration of construction,” Taipei City DORTS solemnly clarified that turnkey contract and the phased bidding methods for the design and construction each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The key point is the completion of projects on schedule and the early realization of the vision of a circular-shaped route network for the capital city. In particular, for an MRT project of such large magnitude, land acquisition is critical; otherwise, construction can commence early. However, in the case of uncertain design content and land use, the completion period cannot be shortened. Instead, derivative construction disputes and traffic shocks have caused inconveniences for citizens.
DORTS explained that the basic design has already been completed for Circular line north & south section, and the subsequent detail design has been divided into three contracts. In order to reduce the overall planning period, open bidding was gradually announced from April 24 to May 10 in 2019. DORTS will provide the basic design results to the detail design firms in order to reduce the design period while also cooperating with the handling of land acquisition in order to improve interface integration and accelerate construction.
DORTS stated that in accordance with their numerous years of experience in promoting MRT construction in urban areas, they have a deep understanding of a long period of MRT project planning, land acquisition difficulties, complex pipeline relocation coordination, and traffic maintenance during construction which require to strengthen communication and coordination regarding all of these matters in order to reduce disputes. In addition, the amount of each construction project is extremely large with long compliance deadlines, and the engineering risks and time-course controls are also extremely important. The promotion of the Circular route network is a top priority policy for the government, and in order to attain the convenient goal for citizens of “directly arriving at destinations by taking one car in a Circular network,” the Circular line north & south section must be integrated with the Circular line Phase I when being opened to traffic. As a result, a method of separately subcontracting the civil engineering and electromechanical systems has been adopted; in addition, DORTS will integrate engineering interface coordination and supervision tasks in order to ensure the construction quality and scheduling while also meeting the requirements of operators.
DORTS emphasized that currently among New Taipei City’s operations, the Danhai LRT is categorized as a smaller scale at-grade light rail system which is incomparable to the Circular line north & south section. Furthermore, the Sanying line is categorized as a medium capacity elevated construction with a total length of 14.29km, a total of 12 elevated stations, and approximately NT$50.2 billion in funding, and it will reportedly take 9 years to construct.  The Circular line north & south section is categorized as a medium capacity underground construction with a total length of 20.7km, 18 underground stations, and a total of NT$137.8 billion in funding. Detailed design for the project is expected to commence in July of this year, and the combined scheduled time for design and construction is approximately 9.5 years; therefore, when comparing the two line projects, the projected construction periods are similar. Taipei City DORTS will adhere to the existing planning concept and bring their related experience in handling medium capacity line systems back into the design in anticipation of creating a high-quality MRT project with limited funding and time. Furthermore, they will join forces in order to strive to achieve the goal of completing construction in 2029 and providing higher quality travel services for citizens of Taipei City and New Taipei City as early as possible.