TLDR: The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is a suspension bridge in Kobe, Japan that connects the city of Kobe to Awaji Island. It is part of the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway and crosses the turbulent Akashi Strait. It was completed in 1998 and was the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world at that time.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is an impressive structure that spans the Akashi Strait, connecting the city of Kobe on the Japanese island of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island. It is a suspension bridge, which means it is supported by large cables that hang from tall towers. The bridge is part of the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway, a major highway system in Japan.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge was completed in 1998 and at that time, it had the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world. The central span of the bridge is 1,991 meters long, which is equivalent to about 6,532 feet. It is an engineering marvel that can withstand strong winds, earthquakes, and harsh sea currents.
The construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge was a challenging task due to the difficult conditions of the Akashi Strait, which is known for its gales, heavy rain, storms, and natural disasters. Before the bridge was built, ferries were used to transport people across the strait. However, the sinking of two ferries during a storm in 1955, which resulted in the loss of many lives, prompted the Japanese government to consider building a bridge.
The construction of the bridge began in 1988 and involved more than 100 contractors. It was completed in 1996 and opened for traffic on April 5, 1998. The bridge has become an important landmark in the region and is a symbol of Japan's engineering prowess.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has impressive dimensions. The two main towers rise 282.8 meters above sea level, and the bridge itself is 3,911 meters long. The steel cables used in the bridge have a total length of 300,000 kilometers and are made up of 36,830 strands of wire. The bridge also has a unique lighting system with 1,737 illumination lights that can create different patterns and colors.
To cross the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, drivers have to pay a toll of ¥2,300. The bridge is used by approximately 23,000 cars per day.
In summary, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is a remarkable suspension bridge that connects Kobe and Awaji Island in Japan. It is known for its impressive length and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. The bridge is not only a vital transportation link but also a symbol of Japan's engineering excellence.