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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Bridges in Seoul, Part X: Hangang Bridge, First Bridge to be destroyed during Korean War Timeline

The Hangang Bridge (Hanja: 漢江大橋), literally Han River Bridge, crosses the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. It connects from Hangangno Precinct, Seoul Yongsan-gu to Bondong, Seoul Dongjak-gu, crosses over the artificial island of Nodeulseom in Seoul Yongsan-gu. The bridge carries eight lanes of traffic.

The Korea Meteorological Administration considers the Han River to be frozen over when the 100-meter section of water between the second and fourth posts of the southern span freezes.

Pontoon bridges were moored at the site of the modern bridge, but the Han had no fixed crossings until the nearby Hangang Railway Bridge was completed in 1900. Plans for a road bridge did not materialize until 1917, when the original footbridge (indogyo) opened. It was damaged by a flood in July 1925. In October 1935 a second span was constructed, and tram tracks added.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War (1950), South Korean troops bombed the bridge in an attempt to prevent advancement of invading forces (Communist DPRK), as it was the river's solitary road crossing. The Hangang Bridge bombing killed between 500 and 1000 people, mostly civilian refugees, who had not been informed of the plans to destroy the bridge. The bridge was not fully restored until 1954. In 1982 additional lanes were added, and it was renamed Hangang Bridge.