In a few years time, Jochiwon, Osong and Sejong city will be closer to Seowon University. And taking the train should be more convenient too. For now, when students, staff and professors drive west along the Chungbuk highway, they see busy construction crews. Soon, other workers will be preparing for improved rail lines.
The national government has approved 800 billion won to improve the highways, bridges and railway lines between Cheongju and the growing number of government buildings in Sejong city. Travel time between Sejong and Cheongju takes about 40~50. When construction is finished, that time will be 30 minutes. Transportation improvements will stretch from Sejong city to Yeongwol in the east, and between Sejong city and Seoul to the north. For Seowon University office workers who live in Osong, Jochiwon or Sejong city, they will be able to commute to Seowon University more easily.
The government wants to complete the work quickly, so they will not follow the normal waiting time to study the project and have chosen local companies to build roads and bridges. The improvements to road and rail infrastructure are Korea’s contribution to a larger international effort. In Asia, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), promoted by China, is developing better road and rail links between Asia and Europe. Local highway improvements will benefit car, bus and truck traffic, but better railways will benefit local and international economic development. China, Mongolia, and other central Asian countries, have already begun improving railways and increasing rail shipments to many cities in Eastern and Western Europe and Russia. Of the top ten countries who buy Korean goods, eight are in Asia, and two are in North America. Germany is number 12. Presently, Korean export goods such as cars, home appliances and personal electronics travel by ship.
Marine travel to Europe takes about 31 days making this market unaffordable for most Korean companies. The travel time for railcars between China and Europe is 20 days and with improvements, the time could be reduced to 12 days. Rail travel from Korea would be 14 days, less than half the travel time for exporting by ship, cutting travel time in half, saving money allowing more Korean goods to be sold in Europe. Construction work has already begun and continue. In phrases, it will be completed all the road and rail improvements by 2030.