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Holiday traffic jams, airport delays plague travelers

Posted January. 20, 2001 18:03,   


The massive migration of Koreans to their hometowns to observe Lunar New Year¡¯s Day with their families was well underway Saturday. Officials estimated that about 32 million people would hit the road for this year's holiday.

The official Lunar New Year holiday runs from Jan. 23 to 25, but many companies gave their employees an extra day off on Jan. 22. As a result, tens of thousands of people started their holiday journeys a day early in hopes of avoiding the rush.

However, the cancellation of some flights and the closure of many roads in Kangwon and Cholla Province due to icy conditions and overnight snowfalls caused major headaches for some holiday goers.

As the number of cars headed out of major cities increased sharply on Saturday afternoon, major expressways across the country also saw serious traffic tie-ups. Affected areas included the Pangyo-Kihung section of the Kyungbu Expressway and the area near Chilgok Resting Place, as well as the Iljuk-Jinchon section of the Chungbu Expressway.

Waiting areas at Seoul Station and Kangnam Bus Terminal were also crowded with travelers and those without tickets formed long lines at ticket counters to buy tickets returned by others.