You may never have heard of it, but if you take it you will remember it! And for good reason, the Eshima Ohashi is not a classic bridge. With an incline on both sides of 5.1 and 6.1%, motorists have every interest in not having a problem with the brakes during the crossing …
An imposing architecture
The third largest bridge (hashi) in the world, the Eshima Ohashi reaches a height of around 44 m and spans about 1.6 km. If there is no risk of exceeding the 270 m of the Millau viaduct, it nevertheless surprises with its vertiginous slopes worthy of the largest amusement parks. The infrastructure connecting the towns of Matsue and Sakaiminato by passing over Lake Nakaumi is nevertheless a route taken by many Japanese every day. Contrary to appearances, this bridge located on the island of Honshu is not known as being a particularly accident-prone area. That said, it significantly degrades the comfort conditions of vehicle occupants on the way up and down… Head stuck to the headrest on the way up, you will have to hold on tight for the descent! It is also better to make sure before you have good brakes. Want to see what crossing this bridge looks like? Watch this little video found on YouTube:
Awesome, isn’t it?
A curious construction
For safety and convenience, it is rare to see bridges constructed in this way. Generally, their inclination remains moderate. Why then is the Eshima Ohashi an exception? Was there a risk of flooding in erecting a bridge at a more reasonable height? No. Was it to create an attraction open to the public 24 hours a day? An operation to attract tourists? We doubt it. In fact, the answer is a little more practical. The fact of building a low-rise bridge, therefore with a lower vertical drop, would simply have disrupted maritime traffic on the lake. Thanks to the Eshima Ohashi, vehicles and boats can move without hindrance. You still had to dare!
If the Japanese are widely used to this atypical bridge, we can easily imagine that it is difficult to cross for someone who has vertigo… In any case, many Japanese people should not be thinking of crossing the yellow line prohibiting drivers from overtaking …