- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 Nov 2016
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Akashi Kaikyo is a 3.9km long bridge built across the Akashi Strait, a 1,500m international shipping canal between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. The suspension bridge connects the city of Kobe (mainland of Honshu) to Iwaya (Awaji Island) in Japan. The spectacular view of the bridge in the night resulted in the name, Pearl Bridge.
The bridge was opened to traffic on 5 April 1998. It forms part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway. The original design of the bridge was prepared for both cars and trains. Later, the final design was approved only for the roadway. The bridge carries nearly 23,000 cars each day.
Research had revealed the need for implementing new technology and maintenance techniques for proper management and maintenance of the bridge. A dry air injection system was one of the technologies used to maintain the bridge.
 Resistant design
The foundation of the tower-pier was designed to transmit 181,400mt of vertical force to the rock layer, which is about 60m below the surface of the water. The bridge employs pendulums, which operate at the resonance frequency of the bridge to dampen forces.
It has six lanes of roadway, three in each direction. It consists of three spans. The length of the central span is 1,991m, currently (2016) the longest span for a suspension bridge. The end spans are 960m long each. The truss width is 35m. The bridge is located at a height of 280m from the sea level.The height of each supporting pylon is 282.8m (928ft). In a day, the bridge can expand up to two metres (seven feet) due to heat.
The bridge is illuminated with a total of 1,737 lights which include 1,084 on the main cables, 116 on the main towers, 404 on the girders and 132 on the anchorages. Three high light discharge tubes of red, green and blue colours were set up on the main cables.
Construction began in May 1988 and took nearly ten years to complete. The foundation depth of the bridge is equivalent to that of a 20-storey apartment. Nearly 181,000t of steel and 1.4 million cubic metres of concrete were used in the construction of the bridge.
The total cost incurred of the bridge was $4.3bn. The cost was endured by the Honshu Shikoku Bridge Authority. The high cost of construction was due to the seismic design elements that had to be incorporated.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.
How do you find the right stone to conserve historic buildings?
Appointment agreements often include a ‘scope of services’ setting out the consultant's performance on a project.