January 24, 1953
The Xiluo Bridge in the western region of Taiwan’s main island was formally dedicated. The bridge, which crosses over the Zhuoshui River, connects Xiluo Township in Yunlin County with Xizhou County in Changhua County. At the time of its debut, the structure – measuring 6,361.7 feet (1,939 meters) in length and featuring 31 arches – was the longest bridge in East Asia.
The origins of the Xiluo Bridge can be traced to 1936 when local residents established a committee to build a bridge over the Zhuoshui River. Construction began the following year, and by 1940 a total of 32 piers for the bridge were in place. Taiwan was under Japanese rule throughout this time, and construction on the bridge was suspended after Japan’s entry into World War II against the Allied powers in 1941.
After the war ended with Japan’s defeat and Taiwan was handed over to the Republic of China (ROC) in 1945, efforts to continue building the bridge began. A key step in this regard took place in 1948 when Liao Chongguang and Li Yingting jointly established the Xiluo Bridge Reconstruction Committee. The bridge was finally completed towards the end of 1952. (The ROC’s Kuomintang-led government fled the Chinese mainland in 1949 after losing its war against the Communist Party of China and set up a new government in Taiwan.)
In the time since it was opened to traffic, the Xiluo Bridge has served as an important transportation link in Taiwan. The structure has also become a popular landmark, with thousands of people visiting it each year for the Xiluo Bridge Cultural Festival.
For more information on the Xiluo Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiluo_Bridge.