Repost: Han River Bicycle Path to Extend to Busan [Cycling in Korea]
The bicycle path will extend down to Busan along the Nakdong River from November this year. The government is also working on other bicycle paths along two Yeongsan and Geum Rivers, with a view to completing them by next month as well.
With the rapid increase in the number of bicycle riders in the nation, the government says it is planning to construct even more bicycle paths around the country. [Credits: Arirang News]
◇ Construction of the South Han River Cycling Trail began in February of 2011 as part of the Save the Han River Project, and was followed by its opening just seven months later on October 8th. President Lee Myung-bak and Governor Kim Moon-soo visited the newly opened trail for a bicycle ride. ⓒ Images from CheongwadaeFor the first time in Korea, an old unused railway line and bridge have been converted into a cycling trail along the South Han River in Gyeonggi Province. It is the first sector of a planned 702km cycling trail that will run across Korea.Gyeonggi Province celebrated the opening of the cycling trail with VIP guests President Lee Myung-bak, First Lady Kim Yoon-ok as well as Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo and Ministers Kwon Jae-jin, Maeng Hyung-kyu, and Kwon Do-youp of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Administration and Security, and Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, respectively. Two-thousand cyclists from various clubs assembled to witness the opening of the South Han River Cycling Trail.The South Han River Cycling Trail opened just seven months after its construction began in February as part of the Save the Han River Project, using disused railway tracks and a metal bridge. The trail covers a 26.8km-long stretch of old railway line between Paldang Station in Namyangju and Yanggeun Bridge in Yangpyeong County. The project cost KRW 16.2 billion in government funds, KRW 3.27 billion in provincial government funds, and KRW 4.43 billion from city and county offices, amounting to KRW 23.9 billion in total.Now the cycling trail that used to connect Seoul and Paldang Station has been extended to Yangpyeong, which is expected to stimulate the economies of Namyangju and Yangpyeong and also to boost the number of cyclists.The Gyeonggi Provincial Government explained that, once completed, the cycling trail will start at Incheon, run through Seoul and across the South Han River and Sobaek Mountain, follow the Nakdong River and end in Busan. It will be a pan-Korean cycling trail that spans a length of 702 kilometers.
◇ The South Han River Cycling Trail utilizes the out-of-service railway and bridge along the river to create a cycling trail. The trail begins at Paldang Station in Namyangju and ends at Yanggeun Bridge, spanning a 26.8km sector. Guests at the opening event take souvenir pictures before the track’s official opening. ⓒImages provided by Cheongwadae
The South Han River Cycling Trail’s greatest charms are the Historic Site of Dasan, Paldang Dam, and Dumulmeori, which exemplify the South Han River’s natural beauty. The old train stations, railway line, and metal bridges that dot the path are worth a romantic or nostalgic visit.The North Han River Bridge was built in 1939 but destroyed during the Korean War, and was not rebuilt until 1952. Now it is decorated with lights that come on at night, and the tunnel’s interior is illuminated with sensor-controlled lighting to minimize electricity consumption.A local government official said, “We were able to cut costs by utilizing already existing structures. There are no steep hills along the trail so it is convenient for the whole family to visit. Not only does it connect Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, but the entire stretch is surrounded by beautiful scenery. I have no doubt it will become one of the finest cycling trails in the world.The opening ceremony’s theme was ‘Communication (placing roads + new encounters + development)’ featuring bicycle stunt performances, bicycle riding events, cycling group parades, and the South Han River Photography Exhibition.
The President, Governor Kim Moon-soo, and other VIP guests rode their bikes down 9 km of the newly opened track.In his congratulatory speech, Governor Kim said, “The South Han River Cycling Trail is truly magnificent. Thanks to the Save the Han River Project, the South Han River and the North Han River have recovered their cleanliness, flooding has been prevented, and a nice public area along the river has been created. I am sure the local residents are delighted.” The governor persuaded the President to support Gyeonggi Province’s plan to rejuvenate 2,700 streams and rivers in the province. [Credits: gnews korea]