2019 Road Day ceremony coincides with marking of 49th anniversary of opening of Gyeongbu Expressway and 50th anniversary of KEC
Vice Minister Kim Kyung-wook of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) delivers a commemorative speech at the 2019 Road Day anniversary event.
President Lee Kang-rae of the KEC and concurrently chairman of the Korea Road Association, speaks at the 2019 Road Day ceremony at the KINTEX on July 4. (Photos: KEC)
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Road Association jointly hosted the 2019 Road Day ceremony on July 4 at the KINTEX in Goyang, north of Seoul. Under the catchphrase “Together with road, Together with People, for Future and for the World,” the anniversary event stressed the acceleration of the construction of so-called “smart road” for the development of the future road industry.
This year’s Road Day anniversary event takes on significance as it marks the 49th anniversary of the opening of the Gyeongbu (Seoul-Busan) Expressway and a special expressway exhibition took place in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Korea Expressway Corp. (KEC).
The government designated July 7, 1970 as the first national Road Day, with the Seoul-Busan Expressway officially opening. The goal was to encourage people, including engineers working on highway construction and related areas, to spur the construction of highways in Korea. Since then, a ceremony took place every year to commemorate the day.
Some 600 government officials, legislators and executives of the construction firms attended the event, led by Vice Minister Kim Kyung-wook of the MOLIT, President Lee Kang-rae of the KEC and concurrently chairman of the Korea Road Association, and Chairman Park Soon-ja of the National Assembly Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee.
A special expressway exhibition took place at the KINTEX from July 4 to July 5, highlighting the history of expressways and the future smart expressways at a glance.
In his commemorative speech, Chairman Lee of the Korea Road Association said, “Quantitative growth of roads we’ve made so far is an amazing achievement - what advanced countries have achieved for more than 100 years has been done in Korea half a century, but Korea should not rest on its laurels.”
The nation has to be substantive in terms of quality. It needs to make a leap forward in keeping up with technologies that evolve in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, nearly a self-driving era, and people’s demands, Chairman Lee said. Korea needs to max out road efficiency by spearheading the establishment of advanced road networks while concentrating on the construction of safe, eco-friendly road infrastructure, he said.
Chairman Lee stressed the need to prepare for the advent of inter-Korean cooperation. Bracing for the eventuality today is sure to be a shortcut to securing a competitive edge in the North Korean market.
Chairman Lee, also KEC president, said now that an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid for the Munsan-Mt. Dora section, is underway, it won’t be long before the Gyeongbu Expressway will be connected with the Asian Highway via Pyongyang and Shinuiju
The Munsan-Mt. Dora section is the South Korean part of the Moonsan-Gaeseong Expressway.
To this end, he emphasized the pursuit of R&D and innovation to improve technology competitiveness. He called for the participants to participate in the International Road & Traffic Expo 2019, to be held in September.
MOLIT Vice Minister Kim gave words of encouragement and presented the MOLIT minister’s award to 70 people who have contributed to the development of the road industry. In his speech, Vice Minister Kim called for taking preemptive steps to cope with future environment changes and the government will not spare its support.