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Construction starts on Japan’s longest bridge

Date Posted: 2006-03-24

It is going to be called ‘The Beautiful Sunlight Bridge’, and Irabu Island residents are confident the name is appropriate.

After more than three decades in the planning, a new bridge linking Irabu Island and Miyako-jima is under way. Ground breaking ceremonies commemorating the bridge first designed and asked for in 1972, at the time this island chain was handed back to Japan through Reversion, took place last weekend with politicians, cabinet office workers, ministers of land and transportation, mayors and assemblymen all gathering to pray for a safe project.

Irabu islanders were beaming as they heard Okinawa Prefecture Vice Governor Noriaki Kakazu say “to have this bridge was the dream for every Miyako-jima City resident, and not only the islanders. The great thing about starting construction at last.” Kakazu said” the bridge will give a lot of development and promotion to the Miyako-jima City.”

Miyakojima City Mayor Akira Ishimine echoed those thoughts, adding “This bridge will bring jobs to people and clean water from Miyako-Jima.” He predicts the new bridge will both provide safer transport for local residents, and promote tourism.

The longest bridge in Japan, the 6,500 meters long span (4.04 miles) will have 3,540 meters (2.2 miles) of actual bridge over water. Officials say the island-to-island bridge will cost ¥32,000,000,000.

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