Incheon Bridge opened to traffic in October 2009 after 52 months since its construction commencement in July 2005. This landmark, Incheon Bridge, links the New Songdo City in the IFEZ (Incheon Free Economic Zone) to the Incheon International Airport on Ye-ongjong Island and serves as the gateway to Northeast Asia. Incheon Bridge connects to 2nd and 3rd Kyungin(Seoul-Incheon) and Seohaean expressway coming from the southern part of the Seoul Metropolitan area, and as a result reduces traveling time along with energy consumption through its accessibility. This bridge is also the first Private Participa-tion in Infrastructure (PPI) project in Korea led by a foreign company, AMEC. AMEC, the leading UK Engineering Consultancy firm worked closely with South Korean government’s MLTM (Ministry of Land, Transport, and Ma-ritime Affairs) to successfully deliver this major infrastructure project valued at KRW 1.5201 trillion won (approximately US$ 1.25 billion). The project was executed under a special-purpose company called the Incheon Bridge Co. Ltd. which was jointly established by AMEC of UK and the Incheon City as well as financial investors.
Incheon Bridge is a toll bridge which is 12.3 km in length with 6 lanes of traffic, and 14 toll booths on the Yeongjong Island side serving both directions. It will be under this private operation for 30 years after its initial opening. The maximum length of the main span for the main route for large ships to pass from the Incheon harbor is 800 meters, making it the longest in Korea and the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
This mega-structure incorporates state of the art technologies and provides aesthetic elements to the scenic landscape. The most important focus was placed on the safety of structure, something that would outlast more than a century. The Y-shaped pylon that supports the cable-stayed bridge was designed to withstand typhoons with winds as strong as 72m per second and seismic activities up to magnitude 7 on the Richter scale. The highest point of the Cable Stayed Bridge’s main pylon reaches up to 230.5 meters in height. The height of the bridge deck for the cable stayed bridge section where large ships pass through is 74 meters above the sea level. Moreover, the Incheon Bridge project used a fast-track method for the first time in South Korea, reducing the overall construction period by 19 months.
Now the Incheon Bridge is just over a year old in its O&M stage and it has maximized convenience by reducing the travel time from Seoul metropolitan areas to Incheon Int’l Airport by 40 minutes. The bridge is also a green infrastructure and aids to carbon reduction as well as climate change issues through its contribution in reducing logistical costs and environmental pollution.
Incheon Bridge is an eco-efficient, low-carbon, resilient, and most importantly accessible infrastructure serving as the driving force to facilitate development in the Incheon Free Economic Zone. This landmark infrastructure will provide a foothold for South Korea to be the next economic hub of Northeast Asia.