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By-pass found to increase traffic woes

Date Posted: 1998-06-13

Travel time from Makiminato to Ginowan has increased a bit since a bridge by-passing the Machinato intersection on Highway 58 was opened, according to a survey conducted by the Okinawa General Bureau. The finding is a bit surprising since the bridge was specifically constructed to alleviate congestion at the intersection.

Officials conducted a two-day survey covering morning rush-hours in the beginning of May. "We suspect that the weather is a significant factor. We found that when it rains, or when there are an accident, it takes more time than before to pass the intersection, but when the weather is fine, the time is slightly less than before," and official involved in the survey said.

However, the help is under way. "The sidewalk under the bridge are under construction, and when that work is finished we will have one more lane on both sides of the bridge, and that will help," he stated. Next March the intersection will be connected to the new Ginowan by-pass, and that is expected to alleviate the traffic jams further.

In the meantime, the daily used of the road can only wonder, whether the fact that there are traffic lights at both ends of the bridge, happily out of any sync, might have anything to do with slowing the traffic.

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