Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, opened for traffic in 1998, is 3,911m in full length and the longest suspension bridge in the world in 2007. Although it was constructed in an ocean space with a rapid current, it was built with bridge technology with world record level pride.
One of the three Honshu-Shikoku Bridges which connect Shikoku to Honshu is now shared as the Kobe Awaji Naruto Expressway.
Honshu and Awaji (or Honshu and Shikoku) extend the land by enabling traffic over the bridge. The bridge is 3,911 meters long overall and the central span is 1,991 meters. The main supporting tower is 298.3 meters, ranking as the second tallest structure in Japan behind the Tokyo Tower (333m).
A cable 1,122m in diameter has 36,830 high intensity galvanized steel lines, 5.23mm in diameter bundled.
There are 300,000 kilometers of the total extension of stranded cable. The high intensity galvanized steel line of 180 sq. kg/mm used for the first time in the world, is the highest quality that has been manufactured only in Japan. The foundation of the abutments of the bridge of Honshu supporting the tension of the cable is round shape which is 85m in diameter and 63.5m in depth. About 350,000t of concrete is used for the main part.
It opened for traffic on April 5, 1998 (Heisei 10).
It is the longest suspension bridge in the world, built over Matsuho, Awaji-cho, Tsuna-gun in Awaji Island and Maiko, Tarumi-ku, Kobe.
Although full length was 3,910m and the central span was 1,990m at the beginning of construction, the foundation shifted by the Great Hanshin Earthquake on January 17, 1995, and so it was extended 1m.
Although the length of the center span was planned to be 1,780m and it was to be used as a road and a railroad bridge, the problem of construction costs altered the plan so that the bridge is used as only a road on August 27, 1985. Construction costs about 500 billion yen.
Although there was appeal by the public to nickname it the Pearl Bridge, the locals rarely use this name.
Although the name may be abbreviated to Akashi Ohashi, Akashi Ohashi is the proper name of a bridge where the national highway No.2 crosses the Akashi River of Akashi-shi. Although Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has the name of a place called Akashi, it is not in contact with Akashi-shi, Hyogo.
Now it is important to point out of the bridges that connects each big city in Kinki, Honshu and Shikoku district, it is the most heavily-trafficked. One advantage, for example, is the stabilization of the agriculture and fishery products from Tokushima, which was just taken in the morning but can be shipped now in the direction of Keihanshin. It is said that the shipment of native chicken and the Awao chicken of Tokushima Prefecture has doubled especially. Thus, it came to occupy a larger share of the market in Keihanshin with bigger agricultural and fishery product of Shikoku than before.
Moreover, the high-volume water pipe, the high-tension-transmission line, the mass cable for communication, etc., are stored by the inside of a bridge beam, and the supply of the water stabilized in Awaji-shima which was a water shortage chronically was brought to it.
Regarding the structural integrity of the bridge, it is considered to be the superstructure that can bear the wind is up to 80m/s. It is considered the design that can also bear an earthquake of the scale of magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale, which happens on the boundary of the Pacific plate and may occur once every 150 years around the bridge construction point.