The bridge was completed for the HPEC in 1992 at a cost of 28.8 billion yen (about $288 million U.S.). Three years later, the bridge was closed due to damage from the Kobe earthquake.
The fault running through Kobe was well known, but seismic bridge design in the 1990s didn't consider it. However the damage was (mostly) to non-structural elements and it was soon repaired. The steel towers and piers had quite a bit of local buckling, but stiffeners were provided around the buckles and the towers and piers remained in service. In fact, the Wangan Expressway was used to carry emergency vehicles within a couple weeks after the earthquake.
Osaka Bay Bridges: Higashi-Kobe Bridge (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.