Sunday, 24 April 2011

The new Ondo Bridge

Not far from where we live is the Ondo Bridge, most notable, perhaps, for its multi-storey car park-like approach roads, and the fabulous azaleas that can be seen in full bloom in a week or two - I'll do my best to post a picture if we can beat the traffic and find a good vantage point!

As of today there is a new bridge which should eventually alleviate the traffic problem that the original bridge sometimes suffers from. The bridge won't be open for another couple of years, but today we got up (quite!) early to watch what I think is the largest floating crane in Japan lower the centre span of the bridge in place.

Fortunately one of my students lives within sight of the bridge, and we were able to park at her place and have a perfect view of what was going on.

I think work began at 5:30 this morning, and we watched the crane being hauled back to the dock at around 3 o'clock this afternoon. What struck me as the most extraordinary thing about the whole operation was the apparent pinpoint accuracy with which the crane was able to position the bridge. It looked like a tremendous team effort.

Now we are looking forward to the bridge opening. The new bridge will take us to a hot spring that we regularly go to, and the old one (visible in the background of the photograph) to the swimming pool... Cool!

Many thanks to my student, Hiromi, and her family for a great afternoon at their barbecue, from where we were able to watch the end of what I suppose is quite a historic event.

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