The Saemangeum bridge will be a key transport connection for one of South Korea’s grand national development projects; a new global trade hub that is being built on the country’s west coast.

This mega-project will see a new district named Saemangeum created on 30 ha of reclaimed land within the 34 km-long seawall which encloses the bay just south of the city of Gunsan.

  • Owner
    Saemangeum Development & Investment Agency
  • Client
    Gwansoo Engineering & Construction
  • Delivery date
  • Partners
    Designer: Pyung Hwa Engineering Consultants
    Construction: Posco Engineering & Construction
    Consultant: Yooshin Engineering Corporation

Ultra-strong cables

A world-first implementation of grade 2,160 MPa parallel stay-cable strand began on the new cable-stayed bridge in November 2020, using ultra-high-strength steel wire developed by Korean steel manufacturers as part of the government’s innovation initiative.

Until this time, grade 1,960 MPa was the highest stay-cable mechanical performancethat had been used, employing 15.7mm strand with a guaranteed ultimate tensile strength of 294 kN. The latest product takes this figure up to 324 kN.

Saemangeum bridge Korea

  • 2,160
    Steel grade in cable strand (MPa)
  • 324 kN
    Guaranteed ultimate tensile strength of cable strand
  • 192
    Number of stay cables

Test drive

Although the relatively modest 420 m-long main span of the Saemangeum Bridge could have been built with conventional cables, use of the new high-strength products is being regarded as a demonstrator project. It will be used to road-test the novel technology for future deployment on other large-scale bridge projects that are planned on estuary and sea crossings elsewhere in South Korea.

When completed in 2023, the cable-stayed bridge will be part of the second north-south axis in the new highway infrastructure for Saemangeum. This 27 km-long link will connect from the mainland and the airport to the new district in the middle of the bay.

Saemangeum bridge Korea
Saemangeum bridge Korea-six-lane-crossing

Six-lane crossing

The two-tower cable-stayed structure has a main span of 420 m and side spans of 174 m with a concrete deck of 34 m width carrying the six-lane highway. A total of 192 cables support the deck from the two concrete towers in a semi-harp arrangement of 24 cables per fan, each tower having four fans. The longest cables extend 223 m and are made up of 55 strands. The bridge also incorporates 16 tie-down cables.

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