2nd Gyeongbu Expressway
to Be Built between
Seoul and Sejong City by 2017
The project will break ground next year for the first phase completion by 2015
Korea Express Corp. (KEC) President and CEO Lieu Chul-ho said his corporation has launched a basic survey on a project to construct a second Gyeongbu Expressway Line that will link the Seoul Capital area and the Sejong City, a new city of administration hub in South Chungcheong Province. The project calls for the completion of the first phase work connecting Seoul and Yongin by 2015 and the remaining second phase by 2017.
In its 2008 business report in March, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) announced the second Gyeongbu Expressway Line project that will break ground next year.
Lieu said KEC decided to designate as the Very Important Path (VIP) the Osan-Yangjae section of the Gyeongbu Expressway Line, whose landscape and function will be remodeled by July 7, 2010 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Gyeongbu Expressway Line.
KEC plans to raise the portion of Hi-Pass users by 50 percent by 2015, he said. To this end, 164 Hi-Pass routes will be newly installed at 80 tollgates, while 11 toll sections of privately-invested roads and others, being built by local governments, will get fitted with Hi-Pass facilities.
KEC President Lieu said Korea still lags behind Japan, which has the combined length of roads per 1 Sq. km of its territory three times as long as Korea's.
He said KEC will be included in the third list of advancing public corporations, to be released by the government. KEC will not be a target of privatization, and the privatization of roads according to each line out of the question due to problems related to operation, he said.
Lieu made it clear that he put up opposition to an idea of making the Gyeongin (Seoul-Incheon) Expressway Line toll-free and reducing toll charges, saying that it means that such expressways as the Jungang Expressway Line, which turns out to be not profitable cannot be built.
Commenting on the bus-only lane system on the Gyeongbu Line even on weekdays, now under an experiment, President Lieu said such transportation policies as bus-only lanes scheme and reductions in toll charges are somewhat contradictory.
In a related development, the MLTM has unveiled plans to construct five expressway lines - planned Seoul-Munsan, Gwangmyeong-Seoul, Guri-Pocheon, Yangpyeong-Hwado lines and an expressway linking the backwater area of Busan New Port. The plans has been put on a public notice during the period between Aug. 1 and Aug. 21 to sound out opinions from several walks of life.
The ministry also put on a notice a revision of an order on the designation of national roads and tributaries, made for the first time in seven years after an amendment in 2001.
In an effort to spread out traffic flows in the Seoul metropolitan area, the ministry set new expressway routes measuring 149.5 km in total length.
Six roads, measuring 128.6 km in length, including the Masan-Geojae road, will be elevated to a status of national roads, while four routes, 186.5 km long in length, including the Yangyang-Pyeongchang one, will be downgraded from a list of national roads. nw
Korea Express Corp. (KEC) President and CEO Lieu Chul-h