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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Burying Seobu Expressway (not all car traffic, though)

Seoul eventually confirmed the completion of the transformation of the 10.33 km section of the Seobu Expressway into a 4-lane underground tunnel by 2019, between Seongsan Bridge (Yangpyeong-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu) and Geumcheon I.C. (Doksan-dong, Guro-gu)*. 

A standard road will double it at ground level, to - hopefully - take care of the local traffic, and to propose a more pleasant experience for residents and visitors: Anyangcheon will at long last be accessible through simple pedestrian crossings (from the Seoul side, Gwangmyeong residents being connected to the eastern side by footbridges), and new parks will be created, including a big one if Seoul manages to move that big, ugly garbage treatment unit. 

Overall, a greener look and feel (particularly with with these before-after pictures comparing winter and summer views!):

This clearly marks an improvement of the cityscape and quality of life in this part of the city, but not a disruption from the car-centric view. And don't expect to totally get rid of traffic noise: "vertical soundproof walls, currently installed between the Seobu Expressway and Gyeongbu Railroad Line, will be replaced with twice the amount of folded soundproof walls to reduce noise levels".

It may look a bit like Yangjaecheon, but a big part of this stretch is occupied by the Guro Digital Complex, not by mid-rise residences. In any case, good news for the district and for people working there. If sure the landowners in front of one of these crossings will find a better use of their ground levels...

Now if your start-up can't afford a Google-size campus for its staff, you can at least offer them a waterfront experience without the disgracious expressway a la Facebook (see "Zee Talk of Zee Town", "Google's Gtown wins over ZeeTown and the Large Apple Collider").

Seoul Village 2015
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* a Public Private Project on a Build Transfer Operate mode: "Seobu Underground Road To Be Constructed Through Private and Public Joint Agreement".

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