Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Nishiarai Bridge across the Arakawa

March 2012 (35.759 Degrees, 139.789 Degrees) Nishiarai Bridge
A mile downstream from the Nippori Guideway Bridge is the Nishiarai Highway Bridge. It's a 1460 ft long steel girder bridge with a drop-in center span (called a Gerber Bridge). Despite having been built in 1961 this bridge is in great condition. Perhaps it was recently rehabilitated.

In the Google Earth photo below, we can see the Otake Arch Bridge carrying Route 313 over the Sumida River, where it is joined by Route 461 before continuing across the Arakawa. There are enormous river banks on the Arakawa while the Sumida has almost no banks. That must be why they can divert the water into the Arakawa whenever the Sumida is in danger of flooding. That must also be why the bridges across the Arakawa are much higher than the bridges over the Sumida.
 Tokyo looks like an incredible maze in the photo above. Metropolitan Tokyo-Yokohama has a population of 34 million making it the largest city in the world. However, I have always found it to be a very comfortable and pleasant place to live. Walking along the Arakawa, you almost feel you are in the country. Note the reeds planted along the river to help keep the water clean.

One last photo of the Nishiarai Bridge (below) shows the many spans required to cross this enormous flood control channel. Such a large area where no construction is allowed makes a nice place for a baseball field and other recreational facilities.
Creative Commons License
Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Nishiarai Bridge across the Arakawa by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

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