According to the TT, the Hsuehshan tunnel is set to open in a few days and will allow traffic through to Ilan by the end of the year. Hoopla. The tunnel, in case you don’t know is part of a new #5 highway connecting Taipei (via the number 3 near the exit to Nangang I think) with Ilan. The route shortens the driving time to 30 minutes from the old 2 hours.
The highway ends around Toucheng which will open Ilan county to day tripping.
The presence of the new highway should also really help to break up traffic on the coast highway. Now drivers can return to taipei via the #2 coastal route, the #9 through Pinglin, or the new #5. Expect far better traffic in the future.
The old highway to Pinglin, the number 9, should receive much less traffic now. Certainly there should be little need for trucks to rumble along those tortuous roads. This is very welcome as the ride to Pinglin from Xindian is a lovely journey only spoiled in the past by too much traffic.
While the new #5 highway passes right by Pinglin you cannot exit. However, you can take the highway to Shihting and then take a country road to Pinglin. I forget the name of this road but it is windy as hell and gorgeouly scenic.
In other tunnel news the tunnel from the Mucha interchange to xinyi road or thereabouts (Warner Village, taipei 101 area) is due to open soon too. For Mucha residents this means being able to drive to the Warner Brothers area in about 15 minutes. For Warner brother area residents it means the reverse.