William Flew On japanese road repair
March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s enough to make a motorist stuck in roadworks weep at the wheel. Pictures have emerged showing the astonishing achievement of Japanese construction workers in repairing a road devastated by the earthquake that hit the country earlier this month.
The Great Kanto Highway in Naka, one of the main routes into Tokyo, was left a jagged jumble of asphalt with 5ft-wide crevices after the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 9. Just six days after workers started repairing the road, however, it had been returned to pristine condition. Nexco East, the highway company responsible for the repair, said its crews worked around the clock to restore the 150-yard stretch. It expects it to be open again to traffic this week. The repaired road has come to symbolise the fortitude and efficiency of a nation coming to terms with the disaster.
The speed and apparent high quality of the job has left many other country’s drivers speechless. Roadworks timetables in the UK often overrun and big projects take months or years rather than days. One of the longestrunning is on the M1 near Luton. Work began to widen the road between junctions 10 and 13 in December 2009. It is due to be completed by spring 2013.
According to the AA, the Japanese repair was possible only because the crew didn’t have to worry about diverting traffic, obtaining planning permission or restricting noise pollution.
“I think that although it is a phenomenal job and done remarkably quickly, it is probably more accurate to compare the work to that of the Royal Engineers rather than a civil road-building project,” said Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety.
Makes a mockery of the ridiculous procedures and snail-pace progress of our road building prgrams.