To celebrate 2012, the Year of the Black Dragon, Seoul Metropolitan Government is introducing Jamsugyo and Cheonhodaegyo, both of which were born in dragon years on the Hangang.
Jamsugyo, which was completed on July 15th 1976, was built using a method unlike that used to build other bridges. Although most Hangang bridges are built some 16~20m above the water level, Jamsugyo is located a mere 2.7m above the water, the shortest drop to the river of any bridge in Seoul, giving pedestrians who cross it the feeling they are walking on water.
Another charm of Jamsugyo is its arcuate shape, which makes it look like the sky’s pulling the center of the bridge, to allow the passage of cruise boats and rescue ships. Standing at this point allows people to see the pleasure cruisers close up and experience ships passing right below their feet.
In recent years Jamsugyo has become a renowned attraction among Seoul’s citizens because Banpodaegyo, which is stacked directly on top of Jamsugyo in a two-tiered arrangement, sprays jets of water which give the impression of a rainbow-colored waterfall cascading from Jamsugyo.
This ‘Moonlight Rainbow Fountain’ is a famous attraction that’s also registered in the Guinness Book of Records for being the longest bridge fountain in the world. The huge jets of water produce shapes resembling willow leaves and branches. At night, music and lighting combine to produce an extravagant nighttime view.
As Jamsugyo is submerged beneath the Hangang whenever the water level exceeds 6.5m, pedestrians are prohibited from using the bridge when the water level exceeds 5.5m, while vehicles are prohibited at 6.2m.
Cheonhodaegyo was built to replace Gwangjingyo, which had become obsolete. Now, it’s the gateway to eastern Seoul, connecting the outer region with downtown Seoul.
When discussing Cheonghodaegyo, one shouldn’t forget the excellent nighttime view of Seoul it affords. There’s also Gwangjingyo 8(pal)-ga to the east and the Olympic-daegyo to the west, where the beautiful Olympic torch can be seen pointing up to the sky.
Moreover, Cheonhodaegyo is close to Gwangnaru Hangang Park (Godeok∙Amsa Ecological Park), a seasonal habitat for various species of migratory including mallards, Korean buzzards, and kestrels.
In addition to its primary function of easing the flow of traffic, Cheonghodaegyo enhances the nighttime vista of Seoul with its subtle lighting and harmony with the Hangang.