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Residents Raise Suspicions on Pedestrian Tunnel

Date Posted: 2000-03-05

One of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Naha City is Asato Intersection. The intersection is the site of the oldest traffic bridge in the prefecture with overpasses for pedestrians. In order to alleviate the perpetual traffic jams in the area, the construction of a wider bridge is on the way, but the city’s plan to replace the pedestrian overpasses with underground tunnels has raised suspicions among local residents.

City officials acknowledge that they did not do a good job in explaining their plan to local residents before starting the construction of the underground tunnel system. The residents are most concerned that the underground tunnel might become a hangout for unruly youth and anti-social people. The city officials try to assure people that they will be on top of the situation.

The tunnel will have two exits at each four corners, and there will also be elevators for aged and disabled people to use. The longest tunnel will be 70 meters long.

Naha City Assembly decided to construct the underground pedestrian pass back in 1995. The cost of the project is estimated at ¥440 million, and the actual underground construction is scheduled to begin in 2002 with the completion scheduled for 2003.

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