Tokyo Gate Bridge (東京ゲートブリッジ) opened on February 12, 2012, and connects Wakasu (若洲), an area of reclaimed land at the southern tip of Kōtō-ku, with Jōnanjima (城南島), another reclaimed island just north of Haneda Airport, thereby technically spanning Tokyo Bay.
The construction took almost ten years and received a lot of media attention. The tentative name chosen for the bridge was “Tokyo Bay Seaside Gate Bridge (東京港臨海大橋 Tōkyōwan rinkai ōhashi), but in August 2010 the public chose “Tokyo Gate Bridge” in a tender organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
The truss bridge is 2,618 meters long, 87,8 meters high and has four lanes for road traffic. Pedestrians can cross the bridge from Wakasu daily from 10:00 to 17:00; sadly, cyclists are not allowed to use the bridge.
“Dinosaur bridge” (恐竜橋 Kyōryū-bashi), as it is also called owing to its strange shape, weighs some 36,000 tons and cost 136 billion JPY to construct. It had to be wide and big enough for large cargo ships to pass underneath but at the same time low enough not to obstruct air traffic around nearby Haneda Airport. It will be part of two ring roads around Tokyo and allow for faster access to Tokyo port.
Wakasu Park is a scenic spot on the northern end of the bridge, where visitors can enjoy barbecue, fishing and even camping. Cycling lanes allow for extended explorations on the bicycle.
Tokyo Gate Bridge can be reached from Shin-kiba Station, either via JR Keiyo Line, Rinkai Line or by metro on Yurakucho Line. From Shin-kiba Station it is a 20-minute walk.
- Dinosaur Bridge Leads Tokyo Push to Ease Traffic, Boost Economy (Bloomberg, February 10, 2012)
- Kawada Industries (designed and constructed the trusses of Tokyo Gate Bridge)