Okinawa Expressway to be extended from Kyoda past Nago

The government is studying plans to extend the Okinawa Expressway to north past Nago by connecting the Expressway and Nago Higashi (East) Road in order to improve access to the northern parts of Okinawa Island.

According to sources knowledgeable about the plans, Kyoda interchange and Isagawa, Nago City, would be connected by a toll free expressway. Planners envision that the travel time by car between Kyoda and Isagawa could be reduced to 5 to 10 minutes. Reportedly, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has ordered relevant government departments to accelerate the plan.

Highway 58 between Kyoda and downtown Nago experiences now a heavy traffic load of 30,000 cars per day resulting in chronic congestion. The government aims to connect the elevated road in Sukuta, currently under construction, with Nago Higashi Road that is currently open between Yofuke and Isagawa.

The plan is to make the road into an expressway without traffic signals in order to have a better access to Motobu Peninsula, and Kunigami, and Ogimi Villages.

One plan under consideration is to remove the traffic signal in front of the Kyoda Road Station to prevent people driving northward from dropping in the road station, thus improving the flow of traffic.