Central Nippon Expressway Co (NEXCO) East Japan has announced that it will remove ceiling tiles in nine of its expressway tunnels in an attempt to prevent further collapses.
The tunnels on the Hokuriku Expressway and the Kan-Etsu Expressway are to be closed on evenings until July so that the existing tiles can be removed, Sankei Shimbun quoted a NEXCO spokesperson as saying.
The announcement follows an accident last December when nine people died in the collapse of the Sasago tunnel in Yamanashi Prefecture. After the accident, NEXCO reported that the emergency inspection of the tunnel’s south-bound lane had revealed defects in 670 locations. The bolts which fix the ceiling panels to the nearly 5-kilometer-long tunnel were loose or corroded in roughly 632 places. In other parts of the tunnel, the concrete ceiling of the tunnel was cracked.© Japan Today