Saturday, 18 May 2024
Gyeong-In Waterway (South Korea)

Han River and West Sea Meet at Gyeong-In Waterway

Written by Jeong-Su Park, GYEONG-IN Waterway Construction Department of K-water

 Official video about the project of Gyeong-In Waterway

K-water Takes a Leading Role for the Nation’s First Waterway Construction Project. As the Korean government recently announced that it would take the public approach for the GYEONG-IN Waterway Construction Project, K-water was designated as the central organization in charge of the project management. It was a meaningful achievement, in a sense that K-water’s steady efforts to build know-how in waterway development were finally recognized, creating a new business area. Let’s now look at the overview of GYEONG-IN Waterway Construction Project, one of the 10 Korean-Style New Deal Projects of the Korean Government, and K-water’s passions and efforts for successful completion of the Project.


Gyeong-In Waterway, the Center of Logistics, Culture, and Tourism of the Era of West Coast

The GYEONG-IN Waterway Construction Project is the large-scale national project that aims to contribute to the national economy by securing national competitiveness.

The Waterway will connect Han River with the Gulpocheon Bangsuro with the width of 80m and the length of 14km, which was built for prevention of damages from frequent floods of the areas near Gulpocheon. It is expected to resolve the logistics problem of the metropolitan area and reduce the transportation costs by transporting cargos and passengers from the West Sea to Han River via the Waterway.

The Project has been implemented since 1995, but once delayed as civil groups raised issues about its economic feasibility. As at the Cabinet-level impending policy coordination meeting reviewed the project again and made a resolution on its implementation in 2003, DHV of Holland, the advanced organization with expertise in waterways, has reviewed the plan since 2004. The results of the review said that the plan was economically feasible with the B/C of 1.76. During the process of the project implementation based on the results of the review, KDI re-evaluated the plan in2008. As a result, the B/C of the plan was 1.07, which means the plan was economically feasible.

Hlavní část průplavu Gyeong-In, pohled směrem na Soul - vizualizace 

The main part of Gyeong-In waterway, view towards the Soul - Visualization. Source: K-water

Main objects

Waterway with the total length of 18km(the width of the waterway of 80m,and the depth of water of 6.3m) from Gyeongseo-dong, Seo-gu, Inchen to Gaewha-dong, Gangseogu,Seoul;

Incheon Terminal (approximately 2.8 million m2 with three navigation locks, two with parameters of 210 x 28,5m and one lock 35 x 14,5 for passenger boats);

• Kimpo Terminal (approximately 2 million m2 with one navigation lock with parameters 150 x 22 m)

Seven replaceable bridges and southern road embankment (the length of 15.6km with four lanes).

Merchant Ships to travel the Waterway are the multi-purpose ships that can travel on the seas and the rivers of 4,000 tons. The ships can carry up to 250 containers for one trip. Based on the case studies in Europe, the ships befitting the Korean conditions will be introduced.

In addition, the Waterway will treat the 100 year’s heaviest rain (402mm per day) at Gulpocheon in case of floods.

Plavební komora při ústí průplavu do Žlutého moře o rozměrech 210x28,5 m - vizualizace 

Visualization of navigation lock at the mouth of the waterway into the Yellow Sea with the size of 210 x 28,5m. Source: K-water


The benefits and the strengths of the GYEONG-IN Waterway are as follows:

The Metropolitan area is densely populated with nearly a half of the national population.

The region where the Waterway will be located suffers from growing logistics costs due to chronic traffic congestions. The Waterway will save the logistics costs by improving the logistics and transportation system that is concentrated only on roads, and enable near-sea transportation from Seoul to China and Japan.

In addition, the Waterway will serve as the new water leisure space in the metropolitan area, as it will complete the network of culture, tourism, and leisure connected to the Han River Renaissance Initiative. It is expected that over 25 million tons of cargos will be transported via GYEONG-IN Waterway in 2030,and the number of passengers traveling from Seoul to China and other neighboring nations will reach 0.6 million per year.

In this situation where the issues such as the global warming and the environmental pollution are gaining higher attention, the GYEONG-IN Waterway Development Project also has eco-friendly meanings, as it will reduce 74,000 tons of CO2¸ emission per year in 2020. It will significantly contribute to the nation’s overcoming the economic crisis by creating the production promotion effect worth KRW 3trillion, and creating 25,000 jobs.

It is expected that the Project will stimulate the economy. K-water is confident that it will enjoy benefits in four sectors, including logistics, culture, tourism, and economic stimulation, by aggressively implementing the Project. 

Terminál Kimpo bude obsluhovat hlavní město Jižní Koreje Soul - vizualizace

Kimpo terminal will serve the capital of South Korea Seoul - Visualization. Source: K-water


K-water Will Create the 2nd Miracle of Han River by Connecting Han River and West Sea

Recently, the nation has gone through domestic and external controversies and diverse challenges while works continued on the nation's first waterway development project, but the President of K-water directly supervises the task force team for the first time in the history of the Corporation. The President has regularly checked the progress with leaders of the related departments. In February of 2009,the team was expanded to the GYEONG-IN Waterway Construction Department, accelerating its efforts for full fledged operation of the Project. 

Gyeong-In Waterway Construction Project begins with the construction of the waterway connecting Bangsuro and Han River in March of 2009, thanks to collected efforts of K-water executives and employees for day and night. Its main construction works will be started in June of 2009, and K-water targets to complete the construction by the end of 2011.

Výstavba průplavu Gyeong-In v místě budoucího terminálu Incheon

Construction of Gyeong-In Waterway at the future terminal Incheon. Source: K-water

Domestic and foreign travelers who have seen Han River have raised questions "Why is Korea not using such a big river flowing through its capital city for diverse purposes like other countries?"

Now is the time to make the 2nd Miracle of Han River of the 21st century by connecting the West Sea to Han River, which has symbolized the nation’s growth by being called as the Miracle of Han River in 1980’s.

The values of the GYEONG-IN Waterway will grow even bigger when it is connected to Han River Renaissance Project operated by Seoul City, Incheon Free Economic Zone Project and 2014 Asian Game prepared by Incheon City.

K-water will fortify its position as an expert organization in waterway development by successfully completing the nation’s first waterway development project with its advanced technology. K-water expects that the waterway business will become the new growth engine of the Corporation.


More information about the project can be found here:

Official website of Gyeong-In waterway project