Serves as “tri-port artery of transportation and logistics,” linking Saemangeum reclamation area by sea, land and air
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun delivers his commemorative speech at a ceremony to open the east-west road that crosses the Saemangeum reclamation area horizontally on Nov. 24. (Photos: SDIA)
Administrator Yang Chung-mo of the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA) gives his opening speech at the opening ceremony.
An east-west road that horizontally crosses the Saemangeum reclamation area in Jeollabuk-do was opened to public traffic on Nov. 25.
Among about 50 people on hand at a ceremony to open the east-west road on Nov. 24 were Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, Soh Soon-yul, co-chairman of the Saemangeum Committee, Minister Kim Hyum-mee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Jeollabuk-do Gov. Song Ha-jin, and Administrator Yang Chung-mo of the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA).
In his commemorative speech, Prime Minister Chung said, “The construction of logistics infrastructure such as the Saemangeum-Jeonju Highway, a new port, and a new airport on top of the east-west road opening today is accelerated, and Saemangeum will be developed into Korea’s center of green new deal industry.”
A whole view of the east-west road, crossing the Saemangeum reclamation area horizontally, which was opened to public traffic on Nov. 25.
The newly-opened east-west road is not only an approach road for inside reclamation works, but also serves as a “tri-port artery of transportation and logistics” in the Saemangeum reclamation area by having connections via sea, land and air, said SDIA Deputy Administrator Lee Sung-hae.
The road is the first of two roads to be established that will bisect the Saemangeum reclamation area horizontally and vertically. The south-north road is also under construction.
With the dedication of the east-west road, a key SOC project, the development of the Saemangeum reclamation area is expected to be accelerated. Starting with the No. 2 seawall bordering Saemanguem New Port, the four-lane east-west road stretches 20.4 km horizontally to reach Jinbong-myeon, Gimjae City, a starting point of the projected Saemanguem-Jeonju Highway.
Lotte E&C and GS E&C constructed the east-west road by filing up soil in the surface of inland waters. Construction started in Nov. 2015. It was dedicated at a cost of 363.7 billion won nearly five years later.
Dignitaries, including Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun Minister Kim Hyum-mee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Jeollabuk-do Gov. Song Ha-jin, and SDIA Administrator Yang Chung-mo, cut a ribbon to open the east-west road.
The east-west road is emerging as a key artery of connecting the Saemangeum reclamation area by sea, land and air like access to Saemangeum New Port and the Saemangeum-Jeonju Highway.
SDIA said it plans to open the south-north road that will cross the Saemangeum reclamation area vertically, the Saemanguem-Jeonju Highway before the 25th World Scout Jamboree 2023 will be held in Saemanguem.
A view of Saemangeum’s south-north road, now under construction.
The south-north road, stretching 27.1 km with six to eight lanes, is under construction at a cost of 964.7 billion won. Lotte E&C, Daelim Industrial, SK E&C and POSCO E&C are in charge of the construction of the road.
The first phase construction of the third and fourth construction sections will be dedicated by 2022 and the second phase construction of the first and second construction sections will be completed by 2023. On top of the east-west road, the dedication of the south-north road will make motorist reach within 20 minutes at any point in the Saemangeum reclamation area.
They will greatly contribute to connecting Saemangeum and outside areas, ranging from neighboring Jeonju and Gunsan to the Gimjae area and even the Seoul metropolitan area.
SDIA Administrator Yang Chung-mo said, “If starting with the east-west road, major road networks inside and outside the Saemangeum reclamation area will be dedicated, inside development is expected to be accelerated, and attracting investments is hoped to get a boost.”
This photo shows the east-west road, crossing the Saemangeum reclamation area horizontally, which was opened to public traffic on Nov. 25, and the south-north road, now under construction, which will bisect the area vertically.
The Saemangeum project is Jeollabuk-do provincial government’s long-standing, ambitious project to build a global city as a frontrunner of green growth. Approximately 30 years ago, the provincial government held a ground-breaking ceremony. It took almost 20 years to complete a breakwater through reclamation.
The seawall stretches 409 km, the world’s largest one, surrounding the reclamation area, which twice wider than Jeonju in size and 14 times than Macao.
Almost 30 years has passed after a master plan on the development of the Saemangeum area was announced in November 1989, but no major achievements had been made since the dedication of the breakwater.
The dedication of the east-west road crossing the Saemangeum reclamation area horizontally is the first tangible feat since the completion of the seawall.