Traffic jams clog freeways at start of holiday

Taipei, Heavy traffic was seen Wednesday morning on many sections of Taiwan's freeways as the five-day Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday kicked off, according to real-time data from the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.

Heavy traffic congestion was most seen in both northbound and southbound lanes of the No. 1 and No. 3 freeways, according to the bureau.

As of 11:38 a.m., heavy congestion was seen on southbound lanes on Freeway No. 1 between Yangmei in Taoyuan and Hsinchu (with speeds ranging between 17 and 32 kilometers per hour) and between Nantun and Yuanlin (30-42 kph) in central Taiwan.

Northbound lanes were affected from Yuanshan to Wudu in northern Taiwan (13-44 kph), in the Hukou area in Hsinchu (34 kph) and from Rende to Yongkang in Tainan (36-56 kph).

On Freeway No. 3, traffic was tied up on southbound lanes from Yingge to Longtan (22-31 kph) and Hsinchu to Zhunan (27-58 kph) in northern Taiwan, and from Shalu to Changhua (32-42 kph) and Wuri to Mingjian (26-57 kph) in central Taiwan.

Some slowdowns were also seen on northbound lanes, especially in the Muzha area outside of Taipei.

The southbound lanes on the No. 5 Freeway connecting Taipei to Yilan were also heavily congested, with traffic slowed to a crawl on southbound lanes from the freeway's starting point in Nangang through the 12.9-kilometer Hsuehshan Tunnel.

Traffic volume is expected to reach its peak on southbound sections of freeways Wednesday and on the northbound lanes Saturday, according to the bureau.

The bureau estimated that traffic volume on the country's highways could reach 122 million vehicle kilometers -- an indicator referring to the total kilometers traveled by all vehicles -- which would be around 40 percent higher than usual.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel