Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line

Last updated
Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line Expwy Route Sign.svg
Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line Expressway
JP Expressway CA.svg東京湾アクアライン
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line
The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line highlighted in red
Route information
Length23.7 km (14.7 mi)
Existed1997–present
Component
highways
Japanese National Route Sign 0409.svg National Route 409
Major junctions
West endKawasaki Ukishima Junction
Shuto Urban Expwy Sign B.svg Shuto Expressway Bayshore Route
in Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Section 1
East endKisarazu Interchange
JP Expressway C4.svg Ken-Ō Expressway in
Kisarazu, Chiba
Location
Country Japan
Highway system
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line

東京湾アクアライン
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line.jpg
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line (bridge section)
Coordinates 35°27′47″N139°52′31″E / 35.46306°N 139.87528°E / 35.46306; 139.87528
Carries4 lanes of Japanese National Route Sign 0409.svg National Route 409 [1]
Crosses Tokyo Bay
Locale
Other name(s)Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway
Characteristics
Design
Total length
  • bridge: 4,384 metres (14,383 ft) [2]
  • tunnel: 9,600 metres (31,496 ft)
Width22.9 metres (75 ft) [2]
Longest span240 metres (787 ft) [3]
Piers in water42 [2]
Clearance below 29 metres (95 ft) [2]
History
Fabrication by
  • bridge: Yokogawa Bridge Corp. [4] and JFE Engineering [5]
  • tunnel:
Construction start1989
Construction cost ¥1.4 trillion
Opened18 December 1997 (1997-12-18)
Location
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line
Tokyo Bay Tunnel
Umihotaru Parking Area Aerial Photo 20150131.jpg
Umihotaru, where bridge transitions to tunnel
Overview
Status
  • 2 in use
  • 1 planned
StartUmihotaru Island
EndUkishima, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Operation
ConstructedTaisei [6]
Technical
No. of lanes 2 (unidirectional) in each of 2 tunnels
Highest elevationsea level
Lowest elevation−45 metres (−148 ft)
Width
  • 14.1 metres (46 ft) OD
  • 11.9 metres (39 ft) ID
  • 10.5 metres (34 ft) roadway
Grade 4% [7]

The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line (東京湾アクアライン, Tōkyō-wan Akua-rain [8] ), also known as the Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway, is an expressway that is mainly made up of a bridge–tunnel combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, and forms part of National Route 409. With an overall length of 23.7 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the baythe fourth-longest underwater tunnel in the world. [9]

Contents

Overview

An artificial island, Umihotaru (ほたる, Umi-hotaru, "sea firefly," referring to Vargula hilgendorfii ), marks the transition between the bridge and tunnel segments and provides a rest stop with restaurants, shops, and amusement facilities. A distinctive tower standing above the middle of the tunnel, the Kaze no Tō (, "the tower of wind"), supplies air to the tunnel, its ventilation system powered by the bay's almost-constant winds.

The ¥1.44 trillion (US$11.2 billion) roadway opened on December 18, 1997, after 23 years of planning and nine years of construction.

The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line shortened the drive between Chiba and Kanagawa, two important industrial areas, from 90 to 15 minutes, [10] and also helped cut travel time from Tokyo and Kanagawa to the seaside leisure spots of the southern Bōsō Peninsula. Before it opened, the trip entailed a 100 km journey along Tokyo Bay and pass through central Tokyo.

An explicit goal of the Aqua-Line was to redirect vehicular flow away from central Tokyo, but the expensive toll has meant only a limited reduction in central-Tokyo traffic.

Many highway bus services now use the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, including lines from Tokyo Station, Yokohama Station, Kawasaki Station, Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station and Haneda Airport to Kisarazu, Kimitsu, Nagaura station, Ichihara, Mobara, Tōgane, Kamogawa, Katsuura and Tateyama.

Tolls

The cash toll for a single trip on the Aqua-Line is ¥3,140 for ordinary-size cars (¥2,510 for kei cars); however, using the ETC (electronic toll collection) system, the fare is ¥2320 (¥1860 for kei cars). The ETC toll is reduced to ¥1000 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. In general, tolls for usage of the Aqua-Line in either direction are collected at the mainline toll plaza on the Kisarazu end.

Toll table of Tokyo-bay Aqua Line
(Kawasaki-Ukishima Junction – Kisarazu-Kaneda Interchange)
Type of carTollETC Aqua-Line
Special discount
ETC Pilot Test discount
(from July 2009)
Normal cars3,140JPY2,320JPY800JPY
Midsize cars3,770JPY2,780JPY960JPY
Large cars5,190JPY3,830JPY1,320JPY
Specific large cars8,640JPY6,380JPY2,200JPY
Kei-cars and motorcycles2,510JPY1,860JPY640JPY

See also

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References

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The Aqua-Line from above, 2015