After the 921-Earthquake, central Taiwan was dramatically changed. The Central Transverse Road along the Da-Jia River was severely damaged. Geographical foundations were shifted and landslides became frequent. Despite falling rocks, construction workers worked day and night to repair the damages. Still, their effort could not compete with the rate the rocks were still falling.
40 years ago, the government firmly believed in the idea of "mainland counterattack." The Central Transverse Road was constructed to connect eastern and western Taiwan. 40 years later, the dream of taking back China one day had not come true. By then those veteran road constructors were getting very old. This Central Transverse Road was their only legacy.
The construction of this road not only made Li=Shan area accessible, it made it prosperous. However, due to the abusive use of the land, the ecosystem and the soil conservation were soon ruined. From 1995-1999, maintenance expense well exceeded the original construction cost. After the 921 Earthquake, repair expense was an estimated 5.1 billion, excluding costs for further damage expected to result from weather erosion.
The dream of a "mainland counterattack" had become an unrealistic goal. And so the reason that once drove the construction and maintenance of this road no longer exists. Should we reconsider the value and necessity of keeping up the maintenance of this road that was built out of life, blood, tears and money?
Source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival
2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Taiwan Focus: Landscape of Life
2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival