Crossing the bridge takes about 20 minutes by car or train. The ferry crossing before the bridge was built took about an hour. The toll from Kojima, Kurashiki (Okayama Prefecture on the Honshū side) to Sakaide (Kagawa Prefecture on the Shikoku side) is ¥3,500, and vice-versa.
The bridges carry two lanes of highway traffic in each direction (Seto-Chūō Expressway) on the upper deck and one railway track in each direction (Seto-Ōhashi Line) on the lower deck. The lower deck was designed to accommodate an additional Shinkansen rail line in each direction.
The bridge idea lay dormant for about sixty years. In 1955, after 171 lives were lost when a ferry wrecked in dense fog off Takamatsu, a safer crossing was deemed necessary. By 1959, meetings were held to promote building the bridge. Scientists began investigations shortly after, and in 1970, the Honshū-Shikoku Bridge Construction Authority was inaugurated. Work was postponed by the "oil shock" of 1973. In 1978 the Environment Assessment Report was published and construction got underway. The project took ten years to complete at a cost of $7 billion. Although nets, ropes and other safety measures were employed, the lives of 13 workers were lost during the 10 years of construction. The bridge opened for traffic on April 10, 1988.
Six of the eleven bridges are separately named, unlike some other long bridge complexes like the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (two bridges and one tunnel). The other five bridges are viaducts. The six named bridges are:
The bridge to nowhere in particular.(bridge between Kobe and Awaji Island in Japan opens April 5, 1998)(Brief Article)
Apr 04, 1998; KOBE IT MUST be one of the most graceful suspension bridges in the world-and certainly the longest. With a central span of 1,991...