Tokyo Bay AquaLine, Tokyo, Japan

The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line is a bridge-tunnel-combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture. With an overall length of 14 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay - which is the longest underwater tunnel for cars in the world.

At the bridge-tunnel crossover point, there is an artificial island called the “Umi-hotaru (海ほたる, engl. sea firefly)” with a rest area as well as the usual restaurants, shops and amusement facilities. The characteristic wind tower Kaze no tō (風の塔) in the middle of the tunnel is used to pump air into the tunnel.

The road carries National Route 409 across the bay. It opened on December 18, 1997 after 31 years of construction at a cost of 1.44 trillion yen (11.2 billion USD at the time of opening). With the Tokyo Wan Aqualine the drive from the most important industrial regions Chiba and Kanagawa is reduced to 15 minutes. Before it was opened one had to drive a 100km long way along the Tokyo Bay which automatically leads through the center of Tokyo. One aim during the planning of the Aqualine was to reduce the traffic through the center of Tokyo, but as the highway toll is still quite high at 3,700 Yen, this effect doesn’t take place as strong as expected.
[Source: Wikipedia]

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