Dinosaur Bridge Opens as Tokyo Tackles Traffic Jams From Rising Population – Bloomberg
Tokyo’s “Dinosaur Bridge” opens to vehicles this weekend after 10 years of construction as the world’s largest metropolis tackles traffic jams that slow vehicles to half of Japan’s average highway speed.
The 2,618-meter 1.6-mile bridge, whose nickname derives from its shape, will bring 19 billion yen $246 million in economic benefits a year as it almost halves journey times to container terminals in Tokyo Bay, the government estimates. Built at an estimated cost of 113 billion yen, it’s forecast to carry about 32,000 vehicles a day between eastern Tokyo and a man-made island, where a new container terminal is being built.
The four-lane bridge will be followed by a ring road and two larger loop lines around Japan’s capital. The improvements, spurred by the city’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Olympics, are intended to cut traffic jams in and around the metropolis of more than 35 million people.
“The new bridge will ease congestion in the whole waterfront area,” said Shinichi Ishii, a senior consultant for public management and strategy at Nomura Research Institute Inc. “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.”
As migration from the countryside and smaller cities boosts Tokyo’s population, the city is increasing use of its waterfront by reclaiming land and building islands in Tokyo Bay. The three fastest-growing prefectures in Japan from 2005 to 2010 were all in the greater Tokyo region, led by Tokyo Prefecture, which increased its population 4.7 percent to 13.2 million, according to Japan’s statistics bureau.
Strange Random Traffic Quote:
“Life is too short for traffic” – Dan Bellack
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