Longest Bridge in Korea Opens to Traffic Monday
Drive Between City and Incheon Airport Will Be Much Shorter
INCHEON, South Korea -- Highway authorities on Monday will open a new bridge, South Korea's longest, that will link Incheon International Airport with its namesake port city.
The airport, South Korea's biggest and one of the largest air-cargo facilities in the world, opened in 2001 on a leveled-out island and had been connected by only one bridge to the mainland.
The new Incheon Bridge cost 2.45 trillion won ($2.12 billion) and took four years and four months to build. The length of the structure is 21.4 kilometers, with 18.4 kilometers over water.
The roadway rises to a height of 74 meters, a level that allows tall ships to pass beneath the bridge. At that height, the road deck is held up by cables that attach to two Y-shaped pylons that are 230 meters high.
The bridge will shave the time it takes to drive between downtown Incheon and the airport to about 15 minutes from 45 minutes.
The city side of the bridge connects to Songdo City, which is the largest planned real-estate development now under construction in the world. The development is a prospective site of the G-20 summit meeting that South Korea will host in November 2010.
President Lee Myung-bak dedicated the bridge at a ceremony on Friday. It was used for long-distance running and cycling events over the weekend.