We sometimes forget that Japan is a nation of islands. In Japan, they have taken bridge building to another level, connecting islands and this island nation providing an infrastructure second to none. Many of Japan’s most well known bridges connect Shikoku Island to Honshu Island.
Ohnaruto Bridge is part of the Kobe-Awaji –Naurto expressway. Complete in 1985, it has a central span length of 1629 meters and connects the islands of Awaji and Shikoku. At one point in time, it was touted as the longest suspension bridge in the world, only to be replaced by the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in1997. The bridge passes over the Naruto channel known for its tidal whirlpools created by the rushing tides of the Pacific Ocean into the inland sea.
The Seto-Ohashi Bridge is really a series of bridges that connect Okayama and Kagawa prefectures. With a length of just over 13.1 kilometers, it is the longest two-tiered bridge system in the world. On the upper deck, you will find two lanes each way for cars. The bottom deck is for the Seto-Ohashi line with a rail track in each direction. The bridge was designed to also accommodate a shinkansen (bullet train) line in each direction.
Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge lays claim as the longest suspension bridge in the world with a central span length of 1991 meters. Completed in 1997, it connects the island of Awaji to Kobe, thus completing the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto expressway. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is an architectural and engineering feat. With six lanes of expressway, it provides a much need connection between the islands.
Although bridges are found throughout the world, you can surely see the advances Japan has made in connecting lands and people.