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Breakwater, underwater park to be built on Dokdo islets

Posted November. 25, 2011 01:35,   


Breakwater extending 210 meters will be erected in waters off the Dokdo islets, and an underwater park and an underwater observatory will be built to allow visitors to see the sight under the sea.

A 200-meter pass linking the two main islets Dongdo and Seodo will also be constructed under government measures to strengthen Korea’s effective rule over Dokdo to counter Japan’s mounting sovereignty claims.

The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry said Thursday that it finalized a "basic plan" on the construction of Dokdo breakwater and other facilities, and is taking steps to invite bids to select a company for setting an “execution plan” required for the project.

A ministry source said, “Four companies submitted bids in the bidding that closed Monday,” adding, “We will select a company early next month.”

The government will conduct the project as part of a comprehensive plan set in April to counter Japan, which specified Dokdo as its territory in social studies textbooks for middle school in March and in its Diplomatic Blue Paper.

According to the ministry, facilities to be constructed in Dokdo are breakwater, a connecting bridge (136 meters long) that will link the existing pier and breakwater in Dokdo, an underwater park, an underwater observatory, a renewable energy power plant, a road linking Dongdo and Seodo, and auxiliary facilities including drainage and fences.

The breakwater will be constructed in the “jacket” structure for the first time in Korea. The jacket-type breakwater is created by hammering in piles in a zigzag form on a seabed to support facilities, and entails an engineering technique designed to reinforce stability in areas with high waters.

This method was used to build a marine science complex in Eeodo, south of Jeju Island, for the first time in Korea, but has never been used to build breakwater.

The underwater observatory will be constructed as “caisson,” a box-shaped concrete structure, to be 55 meters high and 900 square meters of total floor space. The underwater park will be built inside the breakwater in front of the underwater observatory, and water weeds blocs will be installed under the sea to attract fish stock.

The power generation facility will be constructed into a wave energy power plant under the underwater observatory, and will use the force of waves to generate the electricity required to operate the observatory and lighthouse at Dokdo. The linking road to connect Dongdo and Seodo has been named an eco-friendly transport facility.

The implementation planning company will conduct an environmental survey required for the construction of facilities, present specific construction methods, and carry out pre-construction disaster effect assessment by the end of next year.

Apart from this, the Land Ministry will hold consultations with the Prime Minister’s Office and related ministries from late next year before starting construction work in the first half of 2013. To this end, the government will inject 50 billion won (43 million U.S. dollars) in 2013, 150 billion won (130 million dollars) in 2014, and 200 billion won (173 million dollars) in 2015.

jsonhng@donga.com imsoo@donga.com