The Nanheng Highway is one of the three highways that spans across the Island. The Nanheng Highway is more than a vital transportation pathway; it is a road that allows aboriginal people to commute to and from home. The location of the highway is within the mountains, going through the Yushan Range and Central Mountain Range, connecting Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taitung, adding great difficulty to the highway construction. The government spent over half a decade excavating the area. During this period, years and years were spent developing and laying the highway. The Nanheng Highway was officially opened in October of 1972.
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot brought extreme heavy rain. The mountain areas in Southern Taiwan received over 300cm of rainfall within three days. Mudslides, rising riverbanks, and fallen rocks devastated roads and bridges along the Nanheng Highway. Much of the highway between Meishankou and Xiangyang was severely destroyed leaving the remaining geologic structure unstable. That section of the highway was closed off and not accessible to vehicles. After Typhoon Morakot, the highway continued to be impacted by destructive heavy rainfall every two to three years. This caused great obstruction to the highway repair work. After many years of hard work within the government departments and construction workers, including over $13 billion NTD in funding, 13 years of overcoming difficulties and obstacles; over 15 tunnels and 12 bridges repaired, finally, on May 1st, the Nanheng Highway is back to normal operation.
The Nanheng Highway being reopened represents the return to its former glory! Besides connecting the east and west side of the Formosan island and providing convenient transportation to remote areas in Kaohsiung and Taitung, it offers a route for tourists to view the splendor of the mountains. Famous sights in Taitung that the Nanheng Highway passes include Wulu Gorge, Tianlong Suspension Bridge, Xinwulu River Fish Reserve, Lidao Tribal Village, and Bishan Hot Springs. We welcome visitors to come and enjoy the beautiful sights.