(2nd LD) Traffic jam on highways as people return on last day of Chuseok

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Major highways and roads remained clogged with heavy traffic Wednesday, as people traveled back to Seoul on the last day of the Chuseok holiday.

Major highways, running through the central part and along the western coast of the country, were jammed with vehicles, according to Korea Expressway Corp.

As of around 9 p.m. the estimated travel time to Seoul was about 4 1/2 hours from the southern port city of Busan, about 3 1/2 hours from the southwestern coastal city of Mokpo, and 1 1/2 hours from the central city of Daejeon.

“Cars are expected to be bumper-to-bumper until late night as traffic jams are heavy on major roads leading to Seoul,” said an official at Korea Expressway.

The road congestion was predicted to ease after 10-11 p.m.

Some 4.7 million vehicles were expected to hit the roads on their way back to Seoul from their hometowns on the last day of the three-day Chuseok holiday.

This year’s Chuseok, the Korean harvest celebration, fell on Tuesday, and the holiday runs through Wednesday. Koreans usually visit their hometowns to get together with family members and visit their ancestors’ graves.