Japanese Engineers Unbelievably Repair Earthquake Ravaged Road in Only 6 Days

by , 03/27/11

japan earthquake, japanese highway destruction, japanese highway repair, japanese highway demolished, japanese highway repaired in 6 days

A road construction job that would have taken months in America has been finished in less than a week in Japan. The 9.0 magnitude March 11th earthquake demolished a stretch of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka, leaving a 150 meter crater-like crack. Construction workers and engineers arrived at the damaged highway on March 17th, and by March 23rd, it looked like the road never even had a pothole.

Many workers in Japan returned to their jobs the day after the earthquake and tsunami. Crews from the NEXCO repair company arrived at the damaged highway six days after the disaster and just six days later, the road was open to traffic. The astonishing speed of reconstruction is being used to highlight Japan’s strength and ability to recover. It’s no secret that the nation is home to some of the world’s best engineers, and the repairs at the Great Kanto Highway are certainly proof.

Via Dvice and Daily Mail

Image complied from AP photographs

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. David Roundhill October 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    The same cannot be said for their nuclear clean up situation.

  2. Mark Redetzke October 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Impressive. The private contractor hired by our municipality to repave our road this summer barricaded the road, weeks passed, then they tore it up, weeks passed and then they repaved. When they repaved, they repaved over the manhole covers so they tore parts up agains, days passed and then they repaved the sections.

    Repaving the road raised it by six inches meaning that the approach in my driveway now dammed water. So they had to come back, tear out the new approach, install a culvert and repave the approach. This only moved the water damming from one side of the driveway to the other where they failed dig a ditch. I had them come back and dig the ditch. During that process I pointed out to them that the farthest end of the ditch was higher and water would still pool. No, they assured me, they used a laser and it would be just fine.

    TWO YEARS LATER, I’m in the process of getting them to regrade the ditch. So much for American exceptionalism and the supposed money the privatization saves.

  3. bob_fossil April 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    FFS, it is obviously the same area. They have cleared foliage on the right and shored up the hillside. Trees and signs in the distance are the same. The difference in the foliage colour I could almost categorically say is from the white balance setting on the camera or (possibly) different time day. In any event, the white levels are clearly not matched in the second photo as it has a blue/cyan caste.

    Having lived and worked in Japan, I have no problems believing this was done in 6 days.

    The internet seems to breed morons who like to call out “fake” when the don’t have the cognitive capacity to take on board simply presented facts.

  4. fdesmond April 23, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Very impressive and very Japanese, not surprised at all.

    And to the skeptics the pictures are the same location if you look clearly, and also the color of the new asphalt like others had mentioned,

  5. GambatteNihon April 23, 2011 at 8:08 am


    They are quite clearly the same place and the same time of year.

    I think your comments reveal more about your own inherent racism and the failure and cynism of your society than it does about the Japanese.

    Repairing a road overnight is no biggy in Japan – and the monies to do it don’t go missing either

  6. Andy7 April 21, 2011 at 12:41 am

    a bow to those workers that did this quickly. The pictures are from roughly the same location, I think. The color of the trees concerned me, until I decided that one was taken near sunset which added the orange cast to the trees. And some bushes were removed during the repair. The repair was for 150 meters, but the depth of the damage to the under-the-road-base would have been a major repair.

  7. macmarty15221 April 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    @pilottage, go way you troll, there is no food for you here.

  8. pilottage April 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm


    Viva Japan We Will Fuck Deeply America Very Soon…

  9. mitsuki358 April 11, 2011 at 3:18 am

    commenting from Japan.
    It’s real.


    And it’s not surprising matter at all.
    Every end of the year, to use up our tax money, so many streets are being under constructions, usually they finish whole street during the night when we are not on the street.
    So sometimes, you woke up and open your apartment door and find a totally new street in front of you….

  10. Dresden April 7, 2011 at 2:07 am

    BS. The foliage is definitely different.

  11. proofinlife March 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    @Ethical Homes If anybody has worked on roads you’ll know what fresh asphalt and paint looks like. That is all 100% freshly laid asphalt. The edging hasn’t even cured yet. That stretch of road has been undeniably fixed in 6 days.

    Was it the entire highway destroyed? Was it just a stretch of a few hundred meteres? If it is the latter, 6 days is very easy to attain even leaning on shovels and sipping coffee all day for a 1000m stretch.

  12. harmsc12 March 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    To the people wwho think these photos were two different locations, I urge you to take a closer look at landmarks. The too signs in the distance match up. Those two trees in the distance likewise match up in both photos. So do the trees on the right.

  13. spamtrap March 29, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Only Hitler would do such a misleading propaganda shot. And do you see on the before pic how the road and the ground merge in an ecstatic embrace of earthquake orgasm? Godwin 34!

  14. Tiffany77 March 29, 2011 at 7:11 am


    This is the construction company’s official web.
    This is not fake picture at all!!!
    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo amazing!

  15. Lancer March 29, 2011 at 12:16 am

    ethicalhomes go check out the photo on the other website. This photo is taken from exact same location. You can see the sign you mentioned in the photos which are posted to another websites.

  16. albyspace March 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I am the one who was skeptical in the first place, but if you look closely to the photos linked you can see in the second one that the tarmac has been patched in roughly the same spot where the slide’s boundary is.
    If you look at the embankment on the right you can see that “before” there was presence of grass, and “after” it looks like a brand-new slope.

    For what I can see, now, I say: Japan builders rule. Well done!

    (I can’t imagine this sort of response in my country. Italy, btw…)

  17. id6106 March 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Impressive work indeed! This shows a how well a strong society can adapt and cope with disasters. Had it been in the US, we would’ve spent 2 years and couple of million dollars trying to figure out as to why our early warning system that we spent billions of dollars installed around the globe failed to perform. And spend 3 more years and couple of more million dollars in court litigation with the contractor.

  18. NoHallo March 28, 2011 at 2:54 am
  19. Tanis Racket March 27, 2011 at 11:54 pm
  20. ATG March 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Is it just me or have the leafs on the trees changed rather remarkably in the photos? Like, they pictures were taken at different times of the year.

    I call b.s.

  21. fett101 March 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    @ethicalhomes – What nonsense. The sing in the background of the after is the sign in the background of the before. Not the sign in the fore.

    You can also tell by the position of the trees on both sides of the road that both photos were taken from around the same area.

    Here are the two photos overlaid using the trees on the right as a guide.

  22. macmarty15221 March 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

    @Quixote and @ethicalhomes – I think you are mistaken. They are not “radio towers” they are high-tension power line towers. I think the cropping the two photos is unfortunate. I would like to see the complete frames of the “before” and “after” images, I think the location would be more clear. @Jessica, may we please have some pointers to the original images?

  23. Quixote March 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

    An honest journalist would have taken the two photographs from the same location. Look closely to notice that the road was not damaged further down the road where the “after” photo was taken.

  24. asdf78a March 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    we need to hire the japanese to come clean up these messy roads in the us

  25. poland.jr March 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Just goes to show that “we will” is much stronger than “we can’t”

  26. poland.jr March 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Just shows that “we will” is a lot stronger than “we can’t”

  27. ethicalhomes March 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Not so much, actually–if you look at all of the “after” pics that were released, they are all of an almost completely different section of the road than the “before” pics. Notice how the sign and radio tower in the first pic are barely visible in the distance in the second pic; all of the damage that was repaired is (seemingly intentionally) off in the distance where it’s impossible to tell what sort of repair job was done. While the speedy repair would be an inspiring story, the fact that the pics come from the local gov’t agency responsible for the repairs and that they don’t let you actually look at the repairs makes it likely that it’s just an attempt to make it seem like more progress is being made than is warranted.

  28. AlbySpace March 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    It seems quite unlikely to me.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home