Steel bars support the arch of the Nanfang'ao Bridge after its collapse.

Steel bars support the arch of the Nanfang’ao Bridge after its collapse. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Rebuilding Nanfang’ao Bridge in Nanfang’ao, Yilan County, which collapsed killing six foreign workers, will cost NT$520 million (US$16.8 million), the Ministry of Transportation said Tuesday (Oct. 8).

The accident caused the death of three Filipino and three Indonesian fishermen on ships under the bridge Oct. 1, while at least 10 people were reported injured. Reports since then have claimed inspections of Nanfang’ao Bridge and many other bridges across the country have been rare or superficial.

Transportation Vice Minister Huang Yu-lin (黃玉霖) said Tuesday that a plan to rebuild the bridge would be presented in 10 days’ time. Since not just the bridge itself, but the access roads on both sides would have to be first razed and then rebuilt as well, the whole project might cost NT$520 million.

The team in charge of the Suao-Hualien Freeway would reportedly be asked to take on the bridge project, CNA reported. The new bridge would be safe, large enough to handle local traffic requirements, and also meet demands to develop Nanfang’ao into an “international tourist harbor,” Huang said.

As soon as the new design emerges, it will be submitted to the public, while 10 hectares at nearby pier No.13 will be reserved to build a bus station, according to the CNA report. Demolishing the present structure was scheduled for Wednesday (Oct. 9), though removing the underwater parts might take as long as five days, Huang said.