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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Preparations are under way to begin building a road needed for the Camp Humphreys’ expansion project.

The troops and their equipment began arriving at the site Tuesday and were continuing on Wednesday to stage there for the road construction, an official at South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) told Stars and Stripes. They’ll build a “construction road” for trucks working on the expansion project.

Humphreys is scheduled to triple in size and become the chief U.S. military installation on the peninsula under a South Korean-U.S. agreement.

The road will be about 5 miles long and more than 20 feet wide, the MND stated in a news release issued earlier this week.

The construction contingent comprises 112 troops in two engineer companies. The road project will take about six months, the release stated.

The camp is to expand onto a 2,328-acre tract of neighboring land South Korea has set aside for the project. The troops will build the road across one portion of the land slated for the expansion, a Camp Humphreys official said.

MND said building the road was important to get the lands ready for eventual construction and that it would do its best to minimize inconvenience to the public while the road is being built.

Word of the road project came only days after a Feb. 14 MND announcement that it had settled a long-standing dispute with residents who refused to vacate their homes to make way for the expansion. The settlement climaxed a lengthy effort by the government to persuade the residents to vacate without a repeat of the violence that derailed previous relocation efforts.

The expansion project is part of a plan to consolidate U.S. forces into two regional “hubs,” in Pyeongtaek and the Daegu area.

As construction progresses on Camp Humphreys, the U.S. military gradually is to shift its forces from the peninsula’s northern tier, including the Seoul area, to Camp Humphreys. That base is to house senior military headquarters and most U.S. troops in South Korea, officials have said.


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