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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Seven months ahead of schedule, Area II officials will host a New Year’s Eve celebration marking completion of one of the most visible construction projects on Yongsan Garrison.

The overpass connecting Yongsan’s South Post and Main Post sides will be open to traffic — vehicles, bikes and pedestrians — after an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting Wednesday, officials said.

“Everybody’s going to use it. This is seven months earlier than what the plans first had,” said John Nowell, Area II public affairs officer.

The completed overpass will include a bike lane, pedestrian lane and one vehicle lane traveling in each direction, Nowell said. The overpass should reduce traffic jams significantly as people try to exit the base or get to the other side, officials say.

The $7.9 million overpass also incorporates a heating system to prevent it from freezing over during the winter months, officials said.

Drivers and passengers no longer will have to show identification cards to travel from South to Main posts, as the sides will be connected by the overpass.

Vehicles moving between the posts comprise about 80 percent of traffic between gates 5 and 10, officials have said.

Work on the project began in summer 2002.

Construction at nearby Gate 7, which has been limited to personal vehicle traffic, is to be completed in late spring 2004, officials said.

The overpass will be used by all military or personal vehicles, officials said, though a weight limit might be imposed.

The overpass is one among several projects Yongsan officials are touting.

The new wing of the Child Development Center on South Post is to be completed by Jan. 15, officials said, with full services kicking off five days later.

The new wing will allow all child development services, including preschool and kindergarten, to be housed in the same facility.

Officials also plan for a spring 2004 completion of South Post’s new mid-rise family housing complex.

Officials have said they hope families will begin moving in this May; the complex has two 30-unit apartment buildings.

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