Perhaps some of our Yilan based posters can comment. Has there been an explosion of gravel production in Yilan recently? I drove down Hwy 7 two days ago from the Wuling Farm area back to Yilan and found whole sections were nothing but gravel piles and factories. It was not like this before, as I used to travel that route a fair bit. Of course Yilan has always had a lot of gravel production but this seems nuts. Is it perhaps for reconstruction of the Su-Hua Hwy?
Man, that sucks! It’s one of my favourite roads. I am planning a ride up that valley to Wuling Farms and to Lishan one weekend this fall, but I may have to reconsider. How bad is the gravel truck situation? Is the gravel production zone confined to the area close to Jilan, or does it go farther up the valley?
The gravel trucks were not an issue as the gravel seems to be coming from the Lanyang river and they have dirt roads established on that. the gravel production area is only about 3-4km maybe, but there are just so many piles and pits and factories now. It seemed to stretch from the outside of Yilan city to where Hwy 7 and 7B split, especially around Datong Township.
There is some road work on Hwy 7 but not many trucks.
We were just there last last weekend Wookie. The road itself is fine. Lots of cabbage trucks, but they slide over and let people pass. Wuling was spectacular. The hike up to the waterfall great, and coasting down the road on bikes superfun. Don’t not go.
Are you talking bicycle?
I’ve been back and forth up that road a bunch of times since March, and it’s been the same, so it’s not a super new thing. Dunno if you took the road along the embankment all the way back to the 5, but there’s also some more factories there.
The trucks can really be a pain during that segment just before Datong, but like you said, it’s short. The biggest annoyance are the buses that don’t let you pass, but if you drive up mid-week there’s often very little traffic.
It is a really nice drive though - even after 10 trips back and forth in 5 months, I’m still not sick of it
It still is a lovely drive but it’s ridiculous to have such a blighted stretch along it. Also, gravel production is supposed to be dropping. I don’t know when this started to develop but I don’t recall it last spring (2010) when I was exploring the area.
What I’ve noticed with gravel production is that the sites eventually close after a few years. However, they often leave the factories and machinery in situ, which then becomes an almost permanent blight.
I’ve noticed that they go through cycles. In one area that I’ve visited quite often over the past 3 years there are a few factories right next to each other. The one that was going when I first arrived now hasn’t done anything for two years, while the one that I thought was abandoned suddenly started crushing away last year. There’ll be nothing for a year, then suddenly they’ve built a road and the gravel trucks are out in force. But yeah, when they do abandon them for good, they don’t bother cleaning up.
I just looked at Google earth, and all of those factories around Datong were there in 2005 (actually I think there were even a few more in 2005), so there may not have been much activity over the past few years, but there was at some point.
They are doing some work to beautify the rest of the road, though, which is nice. Don’t know if you noticed that roadside park they’re building a ways up the road, but that was just started a few months ago. Not really sure that anyone will use it, but it could be a nice spot to have a break and a snack.
I guess if you don’t know what you’re looking at it’s better. I don’t recall any trucks (although it was a holiday weekend) or factories/equipment.
Im not sure about up there but down here in Pingdong/Kaohsiung counties this has been happening since typhoon morakot. the river bottoms are way to high and the water wipes out the bridges. so they have been constantly, and i mean 1000s of trucks 7 days a week solid without fail, been digging out the rivers again. There is a MASSIVE amount to take out and there are huge mountains all along said rivers. Again not sure about there, but here it is needed, and its probabyl making a bunch of people a ton of money! The bridges around these parts have all been made higher and they have just been trucking out non stop for 2 years…
I know this is a serious post about a serious topic but I read the headline as “Gavel Production in Yilan. Is it Out of Control?” I feel cheated out of some seriously interesting reading.
In Yuanshan Township near the B&B where I stayed, I think there were 3 gravel pits along the road. Totally spoiled what otherwise would have been a very peaceful area.
Let’s see if we can put this puzzle together:
*There’s an election soon
*Ilan County is an actual battleground county
*Land speculation and construction are one of the best sources of political funding and vote buying
*Construction requires loads of concrete that requires loads of gravel
A pattern or should I add another layer to my tin-foil hat?
It’s been out of control since I arrived in Taiwan in the early 90’s … illegal quarrying and almost no control …
[quote=“Mucha Man”]The gravel trucks were not an issue as the gravel seems to be coming from the Lanyang river and they have dirt roads established on that. the gravel production area is only about 3-4km maybe, but there are just so many piles and pits and factories now. It seemed to stretch from the outside of Yilan city to where Hwy 7 and 7B split, especially around Datong Township.
There is some road work on Hwy 7 but not many trucks.[/quote]
Sorry for the late response, and thanks. I won’t have to make new plans.
[quote=“jdsmith”]We were just there last last weekend Wookie. The road itself is fine. Lots of cabbage trucks, but they slide over and let people pass. Wuling was spectacular. The hike up to the waterfall great, and coasting down the road on bikes superfun. Don’t not go.
Are you talking bicycle? [/quote]
Thanks for that JD, and yes, by bicycle. It’s beautiful this time of year.