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Land ministry unveils Tokyo tunnel below site of October 2020 sinkhole accident

The underground tunnel for the Tokyo Outer Ring Road is revealed to the media on Dec. 16, 2021 at a point about 1 kilometer away from the site in the suburban Tokyo city of Chofu where a sinkhole accident occurred in October 2020. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

TOKYO -- Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism unveiled part of an underground tunnel to local residents and the media from Dec. 10 to 16 in response to residents' request in connection with an incident in which a large hole opened up in the road in the suburban Tokyo city of Chofu.

    The incident occurred in October 2020 in a residential area in Chofu's Higashitsutsujigaoka district, right above the construction route for the Tokyo Outer Ring Road. The construction has been suspended.

    The southernmost part of the approximately 16-kilometer section between the tentatively named Tomei Junction and Oizumi Junction was revealed. Inspection tour participants took a special elevator down a shaft near the Tomei Junction used to carry in construction materials and equipment, and they descended some 70 meters underground. They then checked a roughly 3-kilometer section of a part where earthwork using a cylindrical tunneling shield machine -- 16 meters in diameter -- and concrete paving work had been finished.

    Though the sinkhole accident happened about 1 kilometer away, the exact construction area beneath the site of the incident was not revealed because foundations have not been laid there.

    (Japanese original by Seiho Akimaru, Tokyo City News Department)

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