This series of blog posts is based on the book 100 Wonders of the World by Michael Hoffman and Alexander Krings.
The Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge is the largest bridge in the world.
The Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, has the longest central span of any suspension bridge, at 1,991 metres (6,532 ft). It is located in Japan and was completed in 1998. The bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshū to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait. It carries part of the Honshū-Shikoku Highway.
Before the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge was built, ferries carried passengers across the Akashi Strait in Japan. This dangerous waterway often experiences severe storms, and in 1955, two ferries sank in the strait during a storm, killing 168 people. The ensuing shock and public outrage convinced the Japanese government to develop plans for a suspension bridge to cross the strait.
The Akashi Strait is an international waterway that necessitated the provision of a 1,500-metre (4,921 ft)-wide shipping lane.
The bridge was designed to withstand winds of 286 kilometres per hour (178 mph), earthquakes measuring to 8.5 on the Richter scale, and harsh sea currents. The region is tectonically extremely active, with smaller earthquakes occurring almost daily.
Each of the major steel cables is 3 feet thick, 13,000 feet long and is composed of 290 bundles of wire.
The bridge is used by approximately 23,000 cars/day.
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Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Wikipedia, public domain.