Sustainability Practices for the Suhua Highway Improvement Project in Taiwan

  • How-Jei Shau
  • Tai-Yi Liu
  • Po-Han ChenEmail author
  • Nelson N. S. Chou
Technical Note


Sustainability of infrastructure has recently been recognized as an important issue for civil engineering projects, not only in the design phase, but also in the construction phase. In this paper, we discuss the sustainability measures taken for the Suhua Highway Improvement Project. This highway is located in eastern Taiwan, running in a north–south direction and connecting Suao (north end) and Hualien (south end). Project design started in 2008 and associated construction work commenced in 2013 and is expected to be finished in early 2020. It includes eight tunnels (24.5 km), thirteen bridges (8.5 km), and embankments (5.8 km), with a total length of 38.8 km. Some key areas of sustainability, including ecology, landscape, carbon reduction, and cultural preservation, have been taken into consideration in the design and construction phases. In this paper, we will discuss and present detailed study results along with the project construction status. This project is the first highway project in Taiwan that tracks the carbon footprint inventory for each detailed activity. Adjusting the concrete mixture through replacing part of cement with coal fly ash and ground-granulated blast-furnace slag helped reduce roughly 34–43% carbon emission. In addition, comprehensive study on ecological conservation has resulted in some remarkable achievements. The highway design also incorporates local characteristics into the bridge architecture, making it a pleasant addition to the landscape. The sustainability practices and measures taken for the Suhua Highway Improvement project could be very helpful for sustainable environment at local and global levels.


Suhua highway improvement Sustainability Carbon footprint inventory Ecological conservation Landscape Cultural preservation 



We would like to express special appreciation to the Suhua Highway Improvement Office and contractors, including all engineers, for their instruction and supervision on contractors’ construction work in the Suhua Highway Improvement Project. Their efforts in the sustainability of the project made great achievements during the past years, which helped us complete this paper. Special thanks go to Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Ltd., and the Endemic Species Research Institute, which helped the Suhua Highway Improvement Office to execute the research work to make such a significant achievement.


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Copyright information

© Iran University of Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Suhua Highway Improvement Engineering OfficeYilanTaiwan
  2. 2.New Asia Construction and Development CorporationTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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