In the 1950's Taiwan was much in need of a new highway crossing the island through the interior to shorten the distance between east and west, to facilitate the opening of mineral and forest resources, and to provide more irrigation for farms. The road began at Tungshih where it immediately penetrated eastward into the mountains along the valley of the Tachia River up to Lishan. From Lishan the trunk line continued in the same direction through the Hohuan Mountain down to Tailuko and Hualien covering a distance of 186 km. The branch line went north-eastern along the Choshui River with Ilan as its terminal station, covering a distance of 120 km. The construction work was started on July 7, 1956.
To point up the magnitude of this project and the valuable service it provides for our country, a set of commemorative stamps was issued on October 25, 1957. The stamp has the map of Taiwan with the new road as its central design.