Ara Canal, Incheon, South Korea | CruiseBe
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Ara Canal

Natural sights
canal, landmark, sightseeing

Ara Canal extends from Incheon district Seo-gu to Seoul Gangseo-gu. It was built in 2012. The purpose of the canal is to provide flood control and be used in leisure pursuits.



Choe I, son of Choe Chung-heon, attempted to construct a canal in the Goryeo period. It failed due to technological infeasibility. One of the chosun kings also tried and failed. The Gulpocheon river waterproof road project was started in 1992. Gulpocheon's limitation was lack of water flow. In particular, there was a flood in the summer of 1987, resulting in six thousand flood victims in Incheon area. To solve this problem, Gulpocheon waterproofing was undertaken, starting with a five-year survey. In 1995, the Gyeongin canal project was planned and controversies followed over the next 20 years. The project was started in 2009 and completed in 2012.

Outline of Ara Canal project


Controversy over the construction of the Ara canal can be traced back to 1995. The Gulpocheon waterproof project was examined according to several scenarios. One scenario was to dig the waterway in such a way as to discharge water into the Yellow Sea. Another was that the utility Gimpo develop the region for a reservoir. Though the latter is more economical, the government selected the former way in order to boost Korea's economy. The waterway extended in the direction of the Yellow Sea (width: 40~80m, length: 14.2 km). They also constructed a 3.8 km length of waterway to the Hangang river. After long discussion, the government carried forward to private sector investment and Hyudai Engineering & Construction was selected main business operator in 1995. With no economic benefit and a negative effect on the ecosystem, public opinion turned against the project. Business operator and Ministry of Construction and Transportation submitted an 'economic analysis' and demand prediction report to demonstrate the project's validity. As a result, eight reports were made for Gyeongin Ara canal. The cost-benefit report about Gyeongin Ara canal submitted by Korea water resources corporation gained 2.08 and 2.2 scores in 1996. However, when the IMF crisis occurred, the project was cut. After the crisis passed, the ministry of construction and transportation requested a KDI report of demand prediction and cost analysis in 2002. This time the score was 0.8166 and on reanalysis the score remained below 1. They rejected the report and delayed service cost to adjust report. The KDI resubmitted report by eight scenario including method of main traffic road and whether road charging or not. The result is 0.9223 to 1.2807. However, in 2003, the board of audit and inspection of Korea confirmed inflated result. So they stopped this project and requested disciplinary action. In 2004 august, the ministry of construction and transportation assigned project's report service to Netherlands company and got a 1.76 score in March 2007. In 2008, KDI investigated again this report and submitted score result 1.065. Also predicted the quantity of goods transported in 2011 was 290 thousand 4000 TEU related to container, 6.3million ton related to sea sand, 5million ton related to steel, 6million related to passenger. At this point, 80 percent of container and 53 percent of sea sand are included the quantity of goods transported in yellow sea. Also the tailrace which discharged water to hanyang river was completed in width 80m. It was decision to consider Ara canal. The member of the national assembly of opposition party said that if government don't consider the Ara canal, the width is enough to 40m.

This controversy reappeared during the project period. In 2010 summer, there was damaged in nearby Ara canal region due to heavy rain. So some organization, like environment group insisted that this project has no effect to prevent disaster, like flood or heavy rain. Also they said that Ara canal has no plan to build 'rain water pump station', 'rain water pipe' and so on to. So they insisted that this project reexamined. But Korea Water Resource Corporation insisted that if Ara canal has not existed, this had great damage. This damage was due to lack of capacity in pipe conduit. Ara canal help to prevent a great damage to flow rainwater. Also Ara canal's role is to flow rainwater to Yellow sea by preventing flood. So installing 'rain water pump station' and 'rain water pipe' and others are not related to this project.


Scenic views of Suhyang.

There are eight scenic views of suhyang. First is "The Yellow Sea" , "Ara Incheon passenger terminal", "Sicheon Riverside", "Ara Waterfall", "Suhyangwon", "Duri Eco Park", "Ara Gimpo Passenger Terminal" and "Ara Hangang Waterside".


1) Bicycle

In "Ara Waterway", there is a 41.3 km bicycle path

There are five bicycle rental shops in Ara Waterway.

(Ara Incheon passenger terminal, southern Sicheon bridge, northern Gyeyang bridge, southern Gyeyang bridge, Ara Gimpo passenger terminal)

2) Yacht, including Ara Marina

There are three facilities in Ara Marina region.

The yacht mooring facility accommodates 199 ships (water: 136, land: 58). The marina support facility has a "ship gas station", "ship repair shop", "crane", "inclined plane", "washing room", "sewage disposal". Also in Ara marine center, there is a convention center, wedding hall, restaurant. In late May is held the Gimpo mayor yacht contest.

Cultural life

1) Gyeongin Ara Culture Festival

'Gyeongin Ara Culture Festival' was first held in October 2013. It is a nine-day festival. The program has changed every year and this year's program as follows. The programs are divided by region, Incheon jeongseojin.

2) Hyundai premium outlet

The shopping mall opened in February 2015. It is the largest shopping mall in Ara canal region.

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