Skip to comments.Japan fixed this quake-damaged road in just six days
Posted on 03/24/2011 2:08:11 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
Japan's world-class transportation infrastructure couldn't withstand this month's 9.0-magnitutde quake, but their construction teams are still amazing. This stretch of highway was repaired in just six days by a Herculean road crew. This is the triumph of Japanese engineering. The March 11th quake and tsunami crushed roads, destroyed bridges, twisted trains tracks, and otherwise did to Japan what your little brother did to your ideal Sim City creation when you weren't looking.
A stretch of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka, Japan looked like the huge crater above on March 11th. The shaking left a 150-meter crack along the main section of the road. Given the massive and widespread damage the workers, many of whom returned to work the next day, likely didn't have long to appreciate their work before moving on to the next piece of cratered earth.
Crews from highway repair company NEXCO arrived to start repairing the damaged highway on March 17th. By the end of the day on March 23rd the road was opened to traffic.
Just remember this the next time you hit Lake Shore Drive and notice the same pothole that's been there for eight months.
NEXCO? Is this it’s own company, or is it state run?
My guess is it is it’s OWN company and that’s why things get done promptly.
Does Japan have unions?
Next time I see a union crew standing around a hole in the highway eating breakfast sandwiches and scratching their asses, I’ll remember this.
But seriously... this is awesome.
Obama would have to order the shovel-ready signs first. No work allowed until they were all in place, giving him due credit for fixing it.
Turn the camera around and take a shot back down the road the other way.
I would say he is shooting at near the end of the tree line on the right side of the road..the ceder trees. Compare that with the photo of the damage and where they were taking the photo there.
Company Name Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited
Workforce 2,100 employees (as of March 31, 2009)
Headquarters Address Mitsui-Sumitomo Bank Nagoya
Building, 2-18-19, Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Telephone 81+(52)-222-1620 (Japanese Only)
Capital 65 billion yen
Established October 1, 2005
Mission Statement We aim to contribute to the sound growth of the national economy, betterment of people’s everyday lives and improvement of traffic flow through the efficient management, planning,development and maintenance of expressways.
I agree. The first pic shows the damage. The second starts down the road where the damaged ended. You can’t see if the damage was repaired or not.
Looks like the pictures were taken from roughly the same place.
Take a look at 911 ground zero today, that says it all.
I'm guessing Colonel Saito wasn't involved.
Look at the bare, leaf-less tree on the left.
Look at the background trees, power lines and signs and you’ll see they are shot from the same spot. The bank on the right is new construction.
Look at the towers on the left. They are spot on when comparing the before and after images. On the right side, I’m guessing that they had to take out some of the trees and brush to pave the slope you see on the “after” picture, thus making comparison there less clear.
My hat is off to the workers.
It is amazing how fast infrastructure can be rebuilt if you do two things, don’t use union labor and incentivize the company to finish on time/early. They rebuilt the 10 freeway in LA in just 66 days after the northridge earthquake using those same two principals. Just shows you how truly wasteful most public works construction is.
America used to work like that up until a generation or two ago.
At one time we could have done the same thing.
My Father was in the combat engineers in WWII. Reading their history, it was astounding how fast the accomplished jobs which would take far longer today.
Even more interesting is after the war they hired German civilians to do some of the labor and according to my Father, they worked even harder than our troops did.
Wrong. Look at the electrical towers and the road sign on the left side in the background. The before and after pics are taken from the same place.
Big deal. The state of California fixed not one but TWO damaged bridges on the MacArthur Maze off the Oakland Bay Bridge in just 26 days.
“June 07, 2007 From American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.
“Despite original predictions that repairs would take months, the MacArthur Maze Interchange in California was successfully reopened in just 26 days. The bridge’s two spans were irreversibly damaged when a tanker truck loaded with 8600 gallons of gasoline overturned on I880.
“The subsequent explosion and fire caused the two bridge deck spans of I580 above to collapse, cutting off the East Bay area of Emeryville from the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The collapse greatly inconvenienced commuters and resulted in significant loss of bridge tolls.
“Although initial news reports cited a lack of replacement steel and predicted many months of repairs, crews completed reconstruction of the two Interstate 580 spans in 26 days, and traffic resumed in time for the Memorial Day weekend.”
A pox on all of you who think Americans lacke a “can do” spirit and ability when the chips are down. All it took was for the Governor to exempt the process from the idiotic environmental laws. The repairs from the Northridge earthquake went equally fast and for the same reason - exempting the idiotic shackling environmental laws.
I would like to see one of you bums even try to hump the heavy pieces of steel Union ironworkers lug around, position, and tie-off 8 hours a day every day. Every one of you would have a catastrophic back muscle tear within 3 minutes from start of shift. I damn well know I can’t do what they do.
6 days to fill a long trench with dirt, pack it down, place aggregate subbase, aggregate base and pave a foot of asphalt over it. Big deal.
I mean, congratulations to the Japanese for an exceptional job, but this is nothing we can’t or haven’t done in the USA. A pox on you who think we can’t. I don’t want to know you.
And don’t forget everybody to send the article to all your fat union friends.
Look at the road sign on the left and its relationship to the powerline in the background. Look at the bare trees on the left. Look at the cedar at the base of the powerline standard. They are taken at the same spot.
Several years ago a Freeper here relayed information I'd never heard before. I can't say if it was true. Yes, there are unions. Yes, they go on strike, but they do not walk out. They wear arm bands to show they are on strike, but they continue to work. They know not working harms the company, and the bottom line, and they also know harming the company would ultimately result in lay-offs, which would harm them or those they work with.
Dig a whole and fill it with dirt and pave the surface in 6 days. Big freaking deal. The Japanese are capable of so much more than that. This is kid's stuff for them AND for the USA. Excavate and backill a hole in 6 days. Pffffffffffffffft.
That had to replace 2 spans on BOTH the upper and lower decks. And yes, they did it with Union labor. I don’t love unions, but I am not so blind I can’t give credit where credit is due. It is the idiotic environmental laws and government bureaucracy and idiotic POLITICIANS who slow projects down, not Union labor. I’ve worked along side these guys and in general, they work there asses off or they don’t get a call-back from union hall. Not all of them of course, but most of them work like dogs. You all couldn’t do what they do. You would be in tears within a week.
OK, I LOL’d.
We have a winner!
Looks to me like the “after” shot is actually some fifteen feet further back than the “before” shot. Look at the hedge and trees on the left side of the picture.
This feat was achieved by one of the three NEXCO companies formed six years ago when JH (a public utility company responsible for highway construction and maintenance) was privatized. And it is unionized...
Japanese Guilds are a bit like unions, but they are different.
What happens when an American manufacturing plant experiences downtime? I guess in most cases the workers either go home and get paid for doing nothing (union shop), or get told to go home and don’t get paid for doing nothing (right to work, non-unionized).
It’s completely different with the Japanese. They wouldn’t disgrace themselves by going home, union or no union.
I worked at a Japanese manufacturing plant in the 90s. When it had teething troubles with new systems in the clean room to the point where manufacturing had to stop for a week or so, everyone from the security gate staff to the senior management was encouraged to spruce the factory up, relay carpets, clean up the grounds, re-tarmac the car park, give the company cars a deep clean inside and out, rearrange the open-plan areas, and so on.
I spent a couple of hours replacing some 320 network cables in the data center with color-coded, tied versions and putting labels on them to make maintenance easier. I wasn’t told to, it was just something that needed doing.
There’s a photo somewhere of a senior manager in his sixties, painting the picket fences.
By the time it returned to business as usual, the entire building was in an immaculate condition, the cars all smelt factory-fresh, and best of all we could play golf on the newly landscaped ground around the factory building and take pride in the fact that “we all did this”.
Pride in your work is only part of the Japanese work ethic; pride in the workplace and pride in the company you work for are part and parcel of the package. And it’s a mutual respect thing.
The Euro 96 soccer tournament did result us northern Brits taking liberties with the lunch hour(s). We just told the boss and depending on who was playing who, he’d say “see you later”, “see you tomorrow”, or “I’ll get the beers in”.
You Japanese can’t do that!!! You’re embarrassing unions and diversity nations like Haiti by doing that!
Related question...looking at pics of the incredible devastation from the earthquake and then the tsunami, I wondering..just where do they put all the wreckage, the detritus. I mean..there is NO room..what do they do with all of it?
But, what about the environmental reports required before work could start?
What are they proposing to alleviate all the harm that this project created without necessary permits?
The two entities are inseparable. If they're going to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the idiotic statist politicians who pass the idiotic laws and benefit mightily from these ridiculously drawn-out projects (at our expense, mind you), then they're going to be on the receiving end of some bad will from the taxpayer. That's just the way it goes.
Count the stripes in the road and the tower and sign - same exact view. However, I am concerned about the degradation of the wildlife habitat on the repaired slope, and will be forwarding this to the World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, their lawyers, and hope that some type of International EPA can look into this travesty.
Obviously no environmental reviews were performed, ground water audits, slope feasability issues or handicap access or bike lanes were addressed in this project.
AND WHERE THE HECK IS THE $10,000 “YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK” SIGN!!!???
I remember reading about the owner of the company back then, he was quite the bad-ass...
Here in Texas we have Zachry and Austin, who just take their sweet time ( union crap )...
I'd say the "after" shot is actually slightly closer. You see more of the hedge/trees in the "after" shot because the camera aimpoint is slightly different.
"Before" is centred on the slim highway sign.
"After" on the new white structure at the base of the two trees just to its left.
But near enough identical road section.
Non-union, I assume?
Since your that good on photos, why dont you do some work on BOs BC?
We could use someone who can sort through, that sort of thing.
Signed, sealed, delivered.
I hate being anal about things like this but it is in my nature...Granted it was 7 years ago, but I lived in the Kanto area for 3 years and I don’t remember a “Great Kanto Highway”, nor could I find any reference to it except those that pointed to this article.
Okay, maybe it’s just a bad translation. I did find a North Kanto Expressway, but that’s too far north. There is an East Kanto Expressway in Chiba, an area that had a lot of earthquake damage, but now the problem is that I can’t find any Naka, except a Nakamachi that’s a few miles from the expressway, it’s a neighborhood of Narita City. Anyway, I wish I could see the signs the photos to see exactly where this is.
To settle the point about the positioning:
If you look at the sign behind the hedge but in front of the pylon base, note you can see more of it in the after shot but the line of sight is almost identical in both shots. In the far background you can see distant hills in the “after” shot which you cannot see in the “before” shot. Finally, it’s patently obvious from the workman’s position, next to the rip, that the road section he was standing on had dropped 4-5 feet from the original ground level.
Conclusion: the “after” observation point is in the ballpark of 5 feet / 2 yards / 1.8 meters above the “before” observation point.
On the far left hand side of the “before” shot you can see one leaf-less tree followed by the leafed tree shaped like a witches’ hat. In the “after” shot you can see another larger leaf-less tree, to the left of the one that was leftmost in the first shot, and because the picture’s being taken at a higher elevation you can see more of the “witches’ hat” tree and the one next to it.
Conclusion: The cameraman must be either further away from the pylon, or be standing to the left of the original shot.
The thing that nails it for me, is the tree at the base of the pylon. In the “before” shot it has a branch sticking up, which is to the left of the pylon legs. The “after” shot shows the same branch directly in line with the leftmost visible leg on the pylon, but lower down.
Parallax 101, guys: how do you get a closer object to “move” down and right compared to an object in the distance? You take a jump to the left and stand on a chair.
Basically what happened on that stretch of road is that they had to pull down the entire carriageway to the right of the white lines, TOTALLY rebuild the embankment (hence all the missing flora on the right side of the shot), then build the road up to the original level, and resurface the whole thing so that the “after” shot doesn’t have a visible join.
As you know, elevated road sections are pre-constructed to a set size and specification. With the Macarthur Maze reconstruction, they could’ve reused the specifications (maybe changing to an improved concrete mix that’s more tolerant of seismic vibration), and followed existing schematics for the layout of the rebuilt sections.
It was an impressive logistical effort, but in engineering terms this would’ve reduced the planning and design stage from months to hours.
In contrast, the Japanese didn’t have that option. They must’ve had to re-engineer the whole hillside and couldn’t rely on any existing schematics. Plus, it looks like there are houses at the bottom of the embankment so the last thing they’d want is a truck to go sliding down.
That suggests they had to recalculate the quantities of soil and hardcore required to rebuild the hill, recalculate the gradient of the completely new artificial embankment (in the first shot it looks like a normal, natural hillside), the new height of the replaced road section, check it would be capable of supporting the weight of the traffic, reinforce if necessary...
They could’ve drawn on similar project experiences but couldn’t simply reuse existing plans. And that’s a major difference. Two full days out of that project, at least, would’ve had to have been spent identifying the condition of the hill and designing the new road accordingly.
It goes like this: Pile up soil - no wood, trees or compressible matter -- in 2' deep layers and compact to 90% in-situ density. Repeat until you get to the top. You rough the slope out at 2 to 1, or 3 to 1, or 4 to 1 as desired, until you get most of the fill in place. All this takes is a long line of dump trucks, a few sheepsfoot rollers and a few surveyors. In this case, they probably worked 24/7 importing and dumping soil, compacting it, and had a small arm of surveyerors on hand grading the slopes.
Bingo. Done. No engineering to speak of.
As far as re-using specs for the MacArther Maze, did you even read the article I posted.
Henderson explains that Caltrans required the girders center 40% section to be free of welded splices. This requirement meant that we had to purchase 40-ft lengths of 2-inch thick steel plate, which is relatively uncommon as a stock item.
You had welding requirements and weld testing that had to be performed immediately. You don't just assume that welds being fast-tracked in a 24-hour work cycle are good. Hell, Contractors had one stinking day to produce shop drawings for the work. Have you ever seen shop drawings? Do you know what it takes to have a CADD detailer detail all of the bolting patters and connectors for steel construction and have the shop drawings proofed for submittal in just 24 hours time? I didn't think it could be done.
What is with this bashing of American labor and praise of foreign labor, just because US union party bosses are a bunch of commie hacks? Maybe the union members aren't all a bunch of commit hacks, sort of the way cops tend to be pro-gun the way Chiefs of police are all gun banners.
That isn't directed at you so much as the parade of people here praising the Japanese for ditching a grading a hole in 6 days, with not a single Freeper even acknowledging the accomplishment US workers to rebuild 2 broken bridges in 26 days. Is it just the additional 20 days that is blowing everyone's mind?
I am embarrassed for all of the love here for foreign labor and the complete lack of recognition of US labor when they pull together. Frankly, this attitude makes me sick.
you are correct
There were before and after photos that were very impressive.
The section of road was perhaps 200 yards long. Itrequired none of the tedium, accurate tedium BTW, you dwscribed with a steel structure.
However, when compared to urban pot hole repairs, the photos were impressive
I saw this and posted it on my FB page yesterday. Unbelievable. Our state road crews would’ve taken 2 years to fix that road.