A dozen of Taipei's oldest people, led by a 94-year-old, were among the first to cross the city's new escape-route bridge, the Chung Hsing Bridge, on opening day, October 4.
A dozen of Taipei's oldest people, led by a 94-year-old, were among the first to cross the city's new escape-route bridge, the Chung Hsing Bridge, on opening day, October 4. This was a traditional Chinese custom, the assure its long life. But the oldest, who would have walked in the old days, crossed by bus - for this bridge is more than two-thirds of a mile long! Jostling crowds cheered them over. Provincial Governor Chow Chi-jou and Mayor Huang Chi-Jui were there to deliver inaugural speeches. Balloons scared, bands played, firecrackers spluttered a Chinese-style welcome.
Chung Hsing Bridge, first pre-stressed concrete bridge in the Far East, cost 930,000 dollars, most of it from US aid funds. It took 22 months to build and has its origins in the tense Mainland China/Formosa dispute. In case of emergency, Taipei and its hall-million population can now be speedily evacuated - over the Chung Hsing.
More than 5,000 attended the opening, pressing forward against the police and Boy Scout barriers; some squatted on rooftops. As Governor Chow cut the ribbon, hundreds of balloons flew into the sky. The inaugural procession then set off, headed by motor-cycle police, two buses (the second contained the old folk) and a hundred cars.