Traffic remains heavy on major expressways, likely to ease after midnight

SEOUL, Traffic remained heavy on major expressways Friday as people continued to go out to celebrate the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday, authorities here said.

Major roads were congested with cars as people headed home after visiting their hometowns, according to Korea Expressway Corp.

The trip from Seoul to Busan, the second biggest city in the country's southeast area, took 5 hours 50 minutes, which was longer than usual but much shorter than Thursday, when it took almost eight hours.

As of 4:30 p.m., around 250,000 vehicles had entered Seoul, with an additional 190,000 cars expected to return by midnight. Some 300,000 cars had left Seoul overall.

The expressway corporation said Seoul-bound traffic in particular will likely peak at around 2 to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Things will improve after midnight for cars leaving Seoul, it said.

It is projected that around 5.37 million cars will be out on the roads throughout Friday, which would be slightly more than 5.2 million during the same period a year earlier.

The Lunar New Year holiday that falls on Friday this year is one of the biggest holidays for Koreans along with Chuseok, the equivalent of Thanksgiving in the United States. The four-day holiday runs through Sunday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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