January 06, 2009 10:33
The government has decided to begin construction in March of a Seoul-Incheon canal that will cost W2.25 trillion (US$1=W1,314) to build. The canal, slated for completion by December 2011, will initially allow 4,000 t-class ships to carry cargo straight to Gangseo-gu, Seoul, and after 2012, international passenger ships will run between China and Yongsan, Seoul.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs on Monday said digging of the waterway starts in March and construction of other major facilities such as bridges and locks in June.
The project was designated as a private investment project in 1995, but the government at the time decided to review it in 2003 over protest from environmental groups.
But the new government announced its intention to revive it in a National Assembly briefing in September last year, and has recently decided to go ahead following a feasibility study by the Korea Development Institute.
The canal will be 18 km long and 80 m wide, 20 m narrower than the original plan, and 6.3m deep. The ministry predicts the project will create 25,000 new jobs and induce production worth W3 trillion.
Kwon Jin-bong, deputy minister for construction and water resources, said, "We’re going to push construction as part of the government's low-carbon, green growth policies aimed at reviving the economy."
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