Presenter: As the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays entered its third day, experts say northbound congestions are likely to continue as people are starting to return home.
Northbound traffic congestion began building at 10:30 a.m. between Yilan-Toucheng and Pinglin on the 20th. Vehicles crawled along at under 10 kilometers per hour around the 30-kilometer marker between Yilan and Toucheng. The Directorate-General of Highways says northbound traffic will be even worse after noon and will continue through the day. Travel time is estimated at seven times longer than normal.
Hsu Wen-yu, Freeway Traffic Analyst:”We will start seeing congestion around 11 a.m. between Yilan and Pinglin. Road users should expect travel times seven times longer than normal through the rest of the day.”
The DGH says northbound congestion will be worst on National Freeway 1's Hsinchu system, between Nantun and Houli, and between Xiluo and Puyan; on National Freeway 3 between Guanxi and Daxi, Dashan and Xiangshan, the Wufeng system, and between Jhushan and Zhongxing; and on National Freeway 5 between Yilan and Pinglin, and around the Xueshan Tunnel. Freeway traffic volume for the day is forecast at 1.22 million vehicle kilometers travelled, including 1.5 times the normal daily average for northbound traffic. The DGH says northbound traffic volume will also spike on the Suhua Highway after noon.
Chen Shih-chang, Chief Engineer, Fourth Maintenance Office, DGH:”Traffic volume was 25 percent higher than normal (on Sept. 19) and southbound traffic was around 30 percent higher than normal the two days before. We're expecting higher northbound traffic volume than in years past this year.”
In the north, congestion will be worst on National Freeway 1 between Hsinchu and Hukou and on National Freeway 3 between Guanxi and Daxi between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., with travel speed estimated at four times longer than normal. There will be carpooling restrictions in place on National Freeway 5 between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. with toll-free travel on all national freeways between midnight and 5 a.m.