The Korea Herald


Highways clogged on last day of Lunar New Year holiday

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Feb. 17, 2018 - 13:36

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Traffic volume rose sharply on expressways and highways in South Korea on Saturday, as hordes of travelers hit the road to return home at the end of the three-day Lunar New Year holiday.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, the 420-kilometer trip from the southeastern port city Busan to capital Seoul would take seven hours and 40 minutes via highways, about two hours longer than on a typical weekend, according to an estimate from the state-run Korea Expressway Corp.

Over a 50-kilometer stretch of highway from Busan to Seoul, vehicles were moving slower than 40 kilometers per hour. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)
It would take an estimated seven hours and 20 minutes from the southwestern port city of Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, to Seoul. Four hours and 30 minutes was the expected travel time from Gangneung, Gangwon Province, a subhost city of the PyeongChang Games, to Seoul, according to KEC.

Roads began to get clogged at major expressways at around 9 a.m., according to the state agency. Congestion on highways was expected to peak at between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and to ease in the wee hours past midnight.

As of 10 a.m., some 110,000 vehicles had hit expressways to leave for Seoul, while some other 330,000 vehicles were expected to add to congested roads through midnight Saturday.

South Koreans typically celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday with annual family reunions, involving hourslong drives. This year’s holiday period fell on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

By Son Ji-hyoung