Highways and byways under construction expected to open well before 2018 Winter Olympics
This map shows highways, which are being built, all leading toward sports venues of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.
A total of 15 highways are being built, both previously-planned and newly-planned ones, all leading toward Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, the venue of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and therefore will be completed well before the opening of the global sports event, said Kim Jeong-hun, the director general of the Road Facility Bureau of the Wonju Regional Construction and Management Administration.
The director general told President-Publisher Elizabeth M. Oh of NewsWorld during an interview that all the highways being built will be completed before the opening of the global sports event, along with byways that connect those highways, so that nothing can prevent those highways from supporting traffic during the giant event, not even heavy snows.
Special attention is being paid to the highway links heading from Incheon International Airport to Alpensia, Pyeongchang, where the global winter sports extravaganza is to take place in 2018, including the Airport Expressway to the Gyeong-In Expressway No. 1, the Yangyang-Seongnam Highway, and to Wonju through Seongnam and Janghowon, Gyeonggi Province, to travel finally to the Olympic venue in Pyeongchang on the Youngdong Expressway No. 2.
The project also includes repairs on other highways including the National Highway No. 6 linking Dunnae and Kangpyong, Dunhung and Yongok, and the National Highway No. 9linking Najun to Jinbu. The project also involves the construction of low-carbon, green-traffic highways, meaning investments in railroads is a key target of the project.
Korea has an extensive network of highways for cars, a transportation system heavily reliant on fossil fuels, vulnerable to climate change and energy crises. The roads consume 19.7 percent of all energy consumed in the country, while generating 14 percent of the toxic gas, as well as 94.7 percent of greenhouse gases.
By 2015, people will be able to move faster from Seoul to Pyeongchang, as the construction of the No. 2 Youngdong Highway linking Wonju and Gwangju will start this March. Director General Kim said the 56.95 km-long highway, which is being built through private investments (BTO) by a consortium of 18 construction firms led by Hyundai Construction, is scheduled to be completed in November 2016 at a total cost of 971.7 billion won.
Kim Jeong-hun, the director general of the Road Facility Bureau of the Wonju Regional Construction
and Management Administration
When the new highway is opened in 2016, it will speed up the flow of traffic from Seoul to Pyeongchang, linking Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province and Wonju, Gangwon Province, greatly helping the winter sports event in Pyeongchang.
The new highway span extending from the Sangil Interchange near Seoul to Wonju will cut the travel time by 23 minutes to 59 minutes, saving some 5 trillion won in logistics costs as the travel distance is cut by 15 km.
The East Yangpyeong Interchange will also boost the accessibility of the areas nearby such as Chowol, East Gwangju, Hongchon, Daeshin, and other towns, and help the balanced development of the Wolsong Tourism Complex, Wonju Business Town, and other newly emerging regions in the area.
The new highway section is projected to improve the environment in the areas it passes through by preventing the generation of air pollution, some 23,000 tons of CO2 through the reduction of traffic jams around the area.
At the same time, the Youngdong Highway No. 2 is being built with private investments and is thus not drawing criticism for wasting national funds because it doesn’t have the minimum income guarantee and with rational toll fee set at 1.085 times the fees charged by the Korea Expressway Corp.