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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Dump trucks and work crews should soon be rumbling onto land near Camp Humphreys in the first stage of getting the land ready for the post’s eventual expansion here.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $29.7 million contract to Seohee Construction Co. Ltd. of Seoul on Nov. 17 and on Monday issued clearance to start work.

“And work can start anytime now,” Lawrence M. Monaco, deputy director of the Project Integration Office at U.S. Forces Korea (Advance Element) headquarters at Camp Humphreys, said Tuesday.

Camp Humphreys eventually is to expand onto a 2,328-acre tract of neighboring land set aside under a South Korea-U.S. agreement.

The installation eventually is to triple in size and become the U.S. military’s flagship installation on the peninsula.

The first work on the site will go forward on “Parcel 1,” a 200-acre portion of the overall expansion site, officials have said.

The contract calls for Seohee to blanket the parcel with landfill and put in roads and a drainage system. An estimated 3 million cubic yards of soil is to be laid down there, officials have said.

Later, a separate contract will be issued for building construction, Monaco said.

The parcel is to be the eventual site of a barracks and dining hall, battalion headquarters, vehicle maintenance shops, administrative buildings, physical fitness center, sports field and a religious education center, project officials have said.

Building construction is to begin in 2007, they’ve said.

“It represents the first construction on the expanded land,” Monaco said of the Parcel 1 contract. “This is going to generate a lot of momentum, and as we go through 2007 we’re going to see a lot of landfill. … And the local region is going to be able to see concrete progress on the development of Camp Humphreys,” he said.

USFK gradually is consolidating its forces into two regional hubs. One, in Pyeongtaek in west-central South Korea, includes Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base. The other is in the Daegu-Busan region in the peninsula’s southeast.


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