NEXCO to remove expressway tunnel ceiling tiles following collapse


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.

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Never understood the reasoning behind why they had these ceiling tiles in the first place. In every tunnel I have seen down here, none of them had them. What is the purpose of having them in the first place, particularly if they are not going to do preventive maintenance?

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They were made during the flush times and every company wanted to pad the construction expenses with government monies.

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Half year too late? If I remember correctly the collapsed tunnel had more than 100 faulty points. And yet they kept using all the other tunnels for another 6 months. pffff

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It took six months to come up with this obvious solution? How long until it actually gets done? Another six? Japanese bureaucracy at its best, even when public safety is at risk.

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Imagine if they had just done their jobs properly in the first place.

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The LDP's yen at work!

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How many other "Unnecessary" fixtures are on our highways, tunnels, and bridges? I tell ya, if they cut down on unnecessary spending on the highways and spent those yen where it's necessary...... ah, never mind, it won't happen anyway!

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The article says 'tiles' are being removed. By contrast it says last year's accident was caused by dropped concrete panels, a very different thing.

Tiles are small objects stuck flat against a surface, presumably following the curvature of the walls and ceiling.

Panels are slung flat across the tunnel, forming an artificial ceiling suspended from the roof by long bolts.

Personally I'd rather get hit by a tile than a panel!

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