Old highway turns into tourist spot
SEOUL: In efforts to rejuvenate the city, the Seoul Metropolitan government has turned an elevated road for cars into a walkway for pedestrians.
Seoul City mayor Park Wonsoon said Seoullo 7017 was a symbol of the people-centred urban renovation.
Instead of demolishing the overpass, he said Seoullo 7017 was transformed from an ageing highway into a rest area and tourist attraction.
The landmark overpass was built in 1970 and had been regarded as a symbol of South Korea’s industrialisation.
“This is one of many projects that we have planned as part of our efforts to revitalise the Seoul tourism industry,” Park told a media briefing, here, on Wednesday.
He did not disclose the cost for the project.
The walkway, slated to open today, will be the central pillar connecting 17 pedestrian streets that centre around the Seoul Station.
The 1,024m walkway consists of a main passage with side passages that connect to Toegye-ro towards Namdaemun Market, Namsan and Myeongdong in the east of the city, and to Seoul Station Seobu and Malli-dong Square in the west.
On the walkway’s name, the number 70 stands for the year 1970, when the original overpass was constructed, while 17 hold three meanings — the year 2017 when the road was given new life, the 17 pedestrian paths linked to the street and the 17m construction height. Farah Adilla