Japan opens Tokyo Gate Bridge to traffic
The Tokyo Gate Bridge in Japan, built at a cost of JPY113bn ($1.5bn), has been opened to traffic after a decade of construction.
The structure is a truss bridge in Koto, Tokyo, and is nicknamed the 'dinosaur bridge' because of its unusual shape, resembling two dinosaurs facing each other.
It is 2,618m long, with a height of 87.8m, and runs towards Tokyo Bay, linking Wakasu in Koto Ward with the Jonanjima Seaside Park in Ota Ward.
Nomura Research Institute senior consultant for public management and strategy Shinichi Ishii was reported by Bloomberg as saying that the new bridge will ease congestion in the whole waterfront area.
"There is a premium on the value of time in the area, and the economic impact could be two or three times more than government estimates," added Ishii.
The bridge's central span is 440m long and runs across a major sea lane into Tokyo Port. Its height had to be limited to below 100m, as it is on the approach to Haneda Airport.
It is designed to handle 32,000 vehicles a day between eastern Tokyo and a man made island, where a new container terminal is currently under construction.
Estimates from the Japanese Government state that the new bridge will add JPY19bn ($246m) in economic benefits a year, as it nearly halves the travel time to container terminals in Tokyo Bay.
The four-lane bridge will lead to a new Tokyo ring road, set to be completed by March 2014, and two new larger loop lines under construction in Japan's capital.
It will cut the travel time between the island and Shin-Kiba by nine minutes and will also allow commuters a choice of routes to the city's main Aomi and Oi container terminals.
Weighing about 36,000t, the bridge is also designed to withstand an earthquake directly under Tokyo.
Photo: The 2,618m long bridge is 87.8m high and runs towards Tokyo Bay, linking Wakasu in Koto Ward with the Jonanjima Seaside Park in Ota Ward. Image: courtesy of Flickr.