Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Japan's Bridges: Tobu Viaduct near Port of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture

June 2011 (38.266 Degrees, 140.973 Degrees) Tobu Toll Road
For the past week we've been making our way steadily north through the City of Sendai and Miyagi Prefecture. I've been switching between the main transportation corridors: the Japan Railway and Shinkansen Viaducts to the west (along the foothills), National Route 4 through the middle of the city, the Tobu Toll Road to the east, and the inland shipping channel (along the coast).

Today's photo is of the elevated Tobu Toll Road near the Port of Sendai. This route was remarkable during the March earthquake because it was just high enough to save the lives of hundreds of people trying to escape the tsunami while the portions of the roadway on embankment were the only seawall that stopped the waves, protecting thousands of homes from inundation.

The viaducts carrying the toll road suffered considerable damage due to ground shaking, and three months after the earthquake they were still replacing delaminated elastomeric bearings and jacking the steel girders back in place.

I like the concrete texture on today's piers, created by gluing strips of wood to the forms. The lack of regularity of the piers along the viaduct is not allowed on California bridges, but it's probably okay for this viaduct because the piers are so much stronger than the bearings, which were the weak link in the lateral load path.
Creative Commons License
Japan's Bridges: Tobu Viaduct near Port of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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