If you think that’s a computer rendering, guess again. The incredible engineering masterpiece pictured above is a massive stormwater management solution for the metropolitan area of the city of Saitama, Japan. While it looks like the set of the next action blockbuster or music video, the structure is real and will leave you washed away if you overstay your welcome when a typhoon hits. Coming in at 25.4 meters tall (83 feet) and 78 meters (255 feet) wide and running 177 meters long (580 feet), the massive underground system started construction in 1992, and is open for tourists interested in exploring a vast concrete landscape.
The Metropolitan Area Outer Discharge Channel was designed to alleviate the rainfall that has caused six major floods to occur in the region since 1979, two from typhoons, providing an underground response to an above ground occurrence. According to engineers, the gargantuan sewer water discharge channel will reduce the flooded area by more than 80%. Completed behind schedule a few years ago, this extensive system has yet to be put to use, but is open for inquiring minds wanting to experience the self designated “underground temple” firsthand.
With the unfortunate string of natural disasters occurring nowadays, we are always happy to see advance planning. Although a large and costly undertaking, the metropolitan inhabitants of Saitama, Japan can rest a little easier, knowing that their water troubles will be well beneath them when the next major storm hits.