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Smoother roads for safer trips in Tainan

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  • Last updated:2018-12-25
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Less Social Discontent and More Public Welfare Through Anti-Corruption


Smoother roads for safer trips in Tainan


Tainan City Government


“Smooth road surfaces” have always been a safety concern of society. The 2012 Audit Report on the Final Financial Report of the Central Government by the Control Yuan also indicated that imperfect control of road excavation is the main cause of all almost all types of unsmooth road surface. For this reason, after taking up his mayoral office, William Lai Ching-te led the city government team to resolve the low-quality road surface problem by actively implementing the Road Smoothing Project and establishing a complete road excavation management mechanism to fulfill the smooth road surface demand of citizens. According to recent media reports, Tainan City earned two distinctions again and was rated No. 1 in Taiwan for the sidewalk condition by the Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior in the 2016 Urban Road Maintenance Management & Sidewalk Accessibility Evaluation. People are thus curious about how the Tainan City Government resolved the long-complaining unsmooth road surface problem and attracts other county and city governments, including Yunlin County, Chiayi City, Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, and Taichung City, to learn from the government team. Here is the story.


1.      Policy promotion collaboration among administrative departments, anti-corruption units, and public prosecution organizations

In order to supervise infrastructure projects, the Tainan City Government voluntarily collaborated with the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office (Tainan DPO) in 2010 ahead of other local governments to implement the “Unsmooth Road Surface Reporting” project by auditing the asphalt roadwork of township and city offices within the jurisdiction and the excavation works of pipeline construction units. The audit found insufficient depth milling, inexact drilling and sampling, and concrete tester switch problems in road pavement and construction. Between 2011 and 2016, therefore, the Tainan City Government continued to implement the road smoothing project, invited experts and scholars to review the problems and revise related regulations, enhance road smoothness by reducing the standard deviation from 2.6cm to 2.4cm, and completed roadwork at 121 road sections and about 8,250 manhole covers to resolve road sections discontented by the public, such as Taijang Boulevard.

Tainan Public Works Bureau innovated mechanisms in the road smoothing project. To achieve exact supervision and management of road excavation, the Tainan Public Works Bureau implemented the Improvement of Tainan City Road Construction Management Project. In addition, the Tainan Public Works Bureau combined with the supervision mechanisms of the Tainan DPO to effectively deter illegal acts and prevent corruptions with outstanding performance.


2.      Effectiveness

2.1.    Designing and foreseeing road smoothing: Right at the beginning of planning and design, the Tainan City Government implemented the high-standard road smoothness specifications. Departments and bureaus within the city government held the pipeline coordination meetings and ensured full collaboration with units inside and outside the government, in order to achieve total implementation of the road smoothing project.

2.2.    Implementing and achieving road smoothing: Apart from onsite inspection and resident control of asphalt concrete mixing plant before implementation, other measures were implemented, including source control with online real-time monitoring of material supply, elevation control using in-process measurement, subgrade improvement, release after 6 hours (temperature reduced to below 50°C), use of materials with nominal particle size of 19mm in pavement, refuge island renewal, and surface man (hand) hole beneath ground. By raising the flatness inspection standard, the only color difference is allowed in new pavements, no elevation difference is allowed, and no excavation of new pavement within three years is required to achieve road smoothing performance.

2.3.    Regulatory support of road smoothing: The Tainan City Road Excavation Management Self-Governance Ordinance and Tainan City Urban Road Management Self-Governance Ordinance have been established for the reference of road excavation management. According to these new ordinances, the minimum width of pipeline and gutter restoration is 50cm; the minimum thickness of asphalt concrete restoration at pipeline and gutter positions is 20cm; the installation depth of underground facilities is 1.2m; the minimum width of road restoration equals the width of one or all lanes; controlled low strength materials (CLSM) or multi-functional regeneration concrete (MRC) shall be used as backfilling materials; a 3m ruler shall be used to measure road flatness after restoration of excavation; the maximum elevation difference of any point within the restoration area is below 0.6cm; and pipeline contractors shall provide a 3-year warranty after project completion. All these requirements aim to raise the standard of road smoothing quality.

2.4.    Quality assurance of road smoothing: The Tainan City Government is the only municipality in Taiwan to establish the three-level QC mechanism for road excavation in accordance with the project construction inspection mechanism to demonstrate the anti-corruption governance of local governments.

2.4.1.  Level 1 QC – Self-inspection implementation: Pipeline contractors are requested to make the real-time report of self-QC inspection using apps to effectively control the onsite construction status of road excavation, achieve remote excavation monitoring, and make advanced construction coordination and integration.

2.4.2.  Level 2 QC – Project completion takeover: Road supervision units, including Public Works Bureau and district offices, implement road permit inspection and violation/defect reporting and take over each completed project. After restoring the excavated road surface, pipeline contractors shall first measure surface flatness and fill in the acceptance record. After receiving the approval of road supervision units through joint inspection, the completion takeover and joint inspection record should be completed and the pipeline map data should be uploaded for updating before case closure.

2.4.3.  Level 3 QC – Project audit: The Tainan City Government formed the Road Restoration Quality Spot Check Team with members from different units. Apart from members with professional engineering backgrounds, there are members from the Tainan DPO, the Civil Service Ethics Office of the Tainan City Government, the Civil Service Ethics Office of the Tainan Public Works Bureau, and professional technologists to conduct onsite spot check (inspection) of completed works and detected defects.

2.5.    Anti-corruption project audit: The Civil Service Ethics Office of the Tainan Public Works Bureau under the Civil Service Ethics Office of the Tainan City Government implemented the project audit of “Roadwork Quality & Road Excavation Application” between 2011 and 2013. A total of 37 reforms were recommended for the business units regarding AC roadwork quality and excavation backfilling in terms of legal requirements, legal systems, and implementation, in order to urge contractors to implement works according to legal requirements and contract specifications, in order to improve roadwork quality and provide citizens with a more comfortable road environment.

2.6.    Established of a road excavation management center: Though innovation of technology-based management, the Tainan Public Works Bureau established the Greater Tainan Road Excavation Management Center to integrate and coordinate pipeline contractors, provide government units and pipeline contractors with a matching and publicity platform, and a mechanism for quick handling of emergency repair and citizen complaints. When project coordination is required, the management center can immediately invite related units to a meeting for effective integration, in order to provide citizens with a quality, comfortable, and safe driving environment.

2.7.    Map data mobile management: To achieve transparent administration and open government, the Tainan City Government developed the “account and password free” inquiry of “underground pipeline map” through mobile app ahead of other counties and cities. In addition, all pipelines are listed with a legend to increase the ease of judgment. This function has proven to be a success during the 0206 earthquakes.


3.      Conclusions: Future Vision

The Tainan City Government will continue to implement the road smoothing project and mobile management of road excavation for citizens to see and feel the government’s efforts through an urban security network formed by point, line, and plane. The city government will maintain development and public welfare at the same time to win public support and achieve government value, create the biggest interest, and build a safe, livable, and safe road use happy city.

A safe road allows pedestrians to go home safely. This is the basic requirement of nationals from their government. This is also the road smoothing goal that the Tainan City Government will continue to implement at present and in the future. Mayor Lai maintained, “Roads will never be smooth in the absence of anti-corruption measures.” Apart from expressing his concerns about the road smoothing project, Mayor Lai encouraged staff to maintain integrity to ensure construction quality and gives the “at the win or die and heavy reward and heavy punishment” instructions.

Under the leadership of Mayor Lai leads, all city government units act with one heart. Anti-corruption units provide early warning and front-end anti-corruption service. The Tainan DPO offers judicial assistance. Although the scale of this collaboration model is small, the influence is huge enough to enable the progressive realization of building a safe and happy Greater Tainan.

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