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Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Photo Gallery

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The Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, has the longest central span of any suspension bridge, at 1,991 metres (6,532 ft). It is located in Japan and was completed in 1998. The bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait. It carries part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway.

The bridge is one of the key links of the Honshū-Shikoku Bridge Project, which created three routes across the Inland Sea.

Before the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge was built, ferries carried passengers across the Akashi Strait in Japan. This dangerous waterway often experiences severe storms and, in 1955, two ferries sank in the strait during a storm, killing 168 people. The ensuing shock and public outrage convinced the Japanese government to develop plans for a suspension bridge to cross the strait.

The original plan called for a mixed railway-road bridge, but when construction on the bridge began in April 1988, the construction was restricted to road only, with six lanes. Actual construction did not begin until May 1988, and the bridge was opened for traffic on April 5, 1998. The Akashi Strait is an international waterway that necessitated the provision of a 1,500-metre (4,921 ft)-wide shipping lane.

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