Sunday, December 4, 2011

Japan's Bridge: Nagamachi Viaducts in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture

June 2011 (38.2379 Degrees, 140.8938 Degrees) 
I spent an evening walking along the elevated high-speed rail viaducts between Sendai and Nagamachi Stations. There were similar expressway viaducts along the Bay in San Francisco but the residents didn't like them and after suffering damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake they were removed. This area is not as pretty as San Francisco's Marina District, but it is a nice quiet neighborhood disrupted by the viaducts. However, taking a high-speed train is a very pleasant way of getting from Sendai to Tokyo.

These viaducts were damaged during the March 2011 earthquake, but unlike the ones in San Francisco, they were simply repaired and returned to service. You can see that the upper level columns are wrapped in steel casings, but they remain susceptible to damage during the next earthquake. I think high-speed rail should be put below grade. That way the trains can be more quickly returned to service following earthquakes and it would be less disruptive to the people who live nearby.
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Japan's Bridge: Nagamachi Viaducts in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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