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Urasoe route wins key monorail extension battle

Date Posted: 2009-04-09

Okinawa’s monorail system will be extended 4.1 kilometers in the coming decade, following a route from Shuri Station to Urasoe City’s Maaeda area, JICA Okinawa International Center and Okinawa Expressway Nishihara interchange.

The decision announced this week by the Okinawa Urban Monorail Extension Planning Committee now puts the ball in Okinawa Prefecture’s court for funding. The Prefecture will handle environmental and survey research from funds in the 2009 budget, as requested by the central government. The research activities are expected to take 2-3 years.

Once environmental considerations are complete, the Prefecture will begin requesting the ¥39.6 billion budget funding for the extension. Okinawa Prefecture will pay for construction of the new stations, road beams and pillars and infra-division maintenance, while the local community will be tasked with paying for the municipal road. The new stretch of monorail is projected to be in operation by 2020.

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