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photo:Shuji Mihara

Honshu-Shikoku Bridge
Expressway Co., Ltd.
Shuji Mihara

The Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressways are playing an important role as a part of a national expressway network in both name and reality and its role as main transportation arteries in the Seto Inland Sea region has been becoming increasingly important. The traffic volume between Honshu and Shikoku has increased steadily and marked the record high for FY 2016 with about 42.23 million vehicles per year. The volume, as well as toll revenue, from April to November 2017 had been larger compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year and the cumulative traffic volume of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge achieved 200 million vehicles in August 2017.

Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Group, which is responsible for the management of the expressways, will make efforts to implement solid business operations based on “Action Plan 2017-2018” established in April last year under the theme of “Trust and Challenge” to provide safe, secure and comfortable usability of the expressways.

As efforts on the “Trust”, we have already finished the seismic retrofit works for long-span bridges spanning the straits of Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway. We will continuously proceed the retrofitting works for bridges located in other sections under jurisdiction of our company. Furthermore, we will intensify the crackdown on violation of vehicle restriction ordinance and strengthen the countermeasures against wrong-way driving to reduce deteriorations of the road assets and possibility of occurrence of serious accidents. Also, we will take safety measures for temporary two-lane sections in order of priority. Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway has received a high evaluation in the customer satisfaction survey and will continue to do our best to achieve higher evaluation.

As efforts on the “Challenge”, we have been striving to realize our bridges’ service life of more than 200 years, and taking efforts for further development and sophistication of technologies for the maintenance based on the idea of asset management. We will put our efforts on the development of new inspection techniques such as infrared thermography and robots, and efficient data utilization of inspection results.

When it comes to construction and renewal projects, the construction work of Awajishima-Chuo Smart IC, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of fiscal 2017, is now being in progress steadily. Also, reconstruction project of Sakaide-Kita IC, conversion of existing half interchange into full interchange, was approved last July. As for the renovation of our Service and Parking Areas based on new concepts, we plan to complete the renovation works of Awajishima-Minami PA (inbound line) and repair work of Yoshima PA by the end of this March. Furthermore, we will launch on the reconstruction of Kurushima Kaikyo SA, and we believe that these activities would send appealing information about our Service and Parking Areas to the public as “Tourist Destinations”.

As for “Setouchi Museum Network” as part of our Mecenat Activities, the number of museums on the network has increased to sixty-five recently, and the expansion of the network has contributed to the vitalization of the Seto Inland Sea region by expanding the appeals of arts in the region.

Finally, the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway and Seto-Chuo Expressway will celebrate their 20th and 30th anniversaries this coming April, respectively, and we will make more efforts to spread the appeals of roadside areas and the expressways and to attract more users through the anniversary ceremonies and corresponding events in cooperation with the local communities and related corporations.

Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Group will continue its efforts to fulfil corporate social responsibilities. On behalf of the Group, I respectfully ask for your continued support and understanding.

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