SEOUL Metropolitan Government has approved plans for a third phase of metro construction in the South Korean capital, adding a further 120 route-km by the end of 2005. Hong Jong-min, Head of the city’s Office of Subway Construction, announced on March 12 that work on Lines 9 to 12 should get under way towards the end of next year.

However he admitted that ’how to raise the huge amount of funds necessary is still at issue’; the programme is costed at 9100bn won. Negotiations are under way with central government, which has been asked to pay 50%, compared to the 21% it is contributing to Phase II.

First to be built will be a 3 km extension of Line 3, and the 18 km western section of Line 9. This will start from Kimpo International Airport and run eastwards along the south bank of the Han river to Yoido, interchanging with Line 11 at Mok-2-dong, Line 2 at Tengsan and Line 5 at Yoido. Line 9 would later be extended east by 20 km to Hanam, via Kangnam and Olympic Stadium, with interchanges to Lines 2, 3, 5, 7 , 8 and 11.

Line 10 would run for 35 km from Sihung to Myonmokdong, via Toksan-dong, Yoido, Seoul Station and Chongnyangri. Line 11 will also be 35 km long, serving Yangjae-dong, Kangnam, City Hall, Namkajwa-dong, Mongdong and Sinwol-dong. The 9 km Line 12 would form an extension of the existing Pundang line through central and northern parts of the city, serving Wangshimni, Chongam-dong, Mia-dong, Wolgye-dong and Songbuk. Completion of the programme will bring the network to over 400 km. o