Audit Probe Reveals Flawed Inspections in Expressway Tunnels

Society Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 15 (Jiji Press)--A Board of Audit of Japan investigation has found that three expressway operators in Japan failed to follow some procedures when inspecting highway tunnels, it was revealed Monday.

East Nippon Expressway Co., known as Nexco-East, Central Nippon Expressway Co., or Nexco-Central, and West Nippon Expressway Co., or Nexco-West, did not look inside the back of panels covering the tunnels with fiber-optic cameras, the investigation showed.

The board urged the firms to deal with this and other problems appropriately.

Rules for inspecting expressway tunnels and bridges were updated upon the 2014 revision of the road act following a 2012 accident in which ceiling slabs of the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture, eastern Japan, collapsed, killing nine people.

The new rules demand up-close visual inspections in tunnels and bridges every five years. The three firms stipulated, in their inspection procedures, that fiber-optic cameras be used to look inside the back of the panels covering the tunnels and other parts that cannot be checked directly by human eye or tested by hammering.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press