The Korea Herald


Holiday travelers cause congestion on major expressways

By 박민영

Published : Oct. 1, 2012 - 10:17

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Expressways to and from Seoul were packed with vehicles Sunday evening as residents continued to head for their hometowns on the second day of Chuseok, the traditional thanksgiving holiday.

But the traffic jams on major expressways eased to some degree after peaking around 5 p.m., according to transportation authorities.

Traffic congestion on major highways linking Seoul and other major regional cities may continue until midnight, they said.

A road trip from the southern port city of Busan, about 453 kilometers southeast of the capital, to Seoul took approximately five hours and 10 minutes as of 9 p.m., the transportation authorities said.

It took around three hours 40 minutes from Mokpo, 410kilometers south of the capital, to Seoul, they said.

"The traffic jams reached their highest point around 5 p.m. and are showing signs of easing gradually," said a transportation official.

Chuseok, the Korean harvest festival that fell on Sunday this year, is one of the country's two major traditional holidays that draw families to their hometowns to pay tribute to their ancestors and honor their predecessors' graves.

Around 430,000 buses and cars may depart from Seoul on Sunday while about 370,000 vehicles are expected to head back to the capital from other cities, the authorities noted.

The transportation authorities expect around 410,000 vehicles to come back to the capital on Monday. (Yonhap News)