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S. Korea to announce Seoul-Sejong expressway construction

S. Korea to announce Seoul-Sejong expressway construction
South Korea will announce its official launch of a large-scale construction project during the second half of this year to build an expressway linking Seoul and the new administrative capital city of Sejong, a government source said.

If the construction plan goes as planned, it would be completed by 2022, he said.

The 129-kilometer-long road would be one of the largest infrastructure construction and is expected to alleviate growing traffic volume in the Gyeongbu Expressway running from Seoul to the southern port city of Busan, which was built in 1970.

The project to build the so-called second Gyeongbu expressway passed a feasibility test in 2009, but a detailed timetable including when to officially launch the project and break ground had not been determined due to challenges over raising an estimated 6.7 trillion won (US$6.55 billion) needed for the construction.

"We expect that the government will make an official announcement of the launch of the project during the second half," a government official close to the matter told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity. "It would be a symbolic move to kick-start the long-stalled construction project."

"Given that about three years will be required to prepare for the groundbreaking and five more years to complete the construction, it would be about 2022 when the road is up and running," he added.

He said that the reason for making such a symbolic announcement is to remove confusion and uncertainty and speed up the pace of its construction, which has already been delayed for many years.

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