New pedestrian bridge to open alongside the Peace Bridge in Hiroshima

by Ryohei Katatsugu, Staff Writer

On March 21, a new pedestrian bridge, now being constructed to the north of the Peace Bridge (Heiwa-ohashi Bridge) in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, will open to traffic. Separated from the roadway, the bridge will be used by pedestrians and cyclists to ensure their safe passage.

The construction of the new pedestrian bridge began in 2014. It is 86 meters long and 5.7 meters wide, and crosses the river side by side with the Peace Bridge. Different colors are used for the pedestrian lane and the bike lane, and the separation line will be illuminated after sunset. The parapet of the pedestrian bridge employs a simple design and is covered with reinforced glass, echoing the parapet of the Peace Bridge, which was designed by the world-class architect Isamu Noguchi. Total construction costs amount to about 1.3 billion yen.

The Peace Bridge is located next to the Peace Memorial Park, which draws large crowds of visitors. Despite this, the existing walking path on the bridge is very narrow, only two meters wide. There has long been concern that this narrow path risks accidents between pedestrians and cyclists.

After the pedestrian bridge is completed, the current walking path on the northern side of the Peace Bridge will be removed to widen the roadway. So far, cars have been running in parallel on the road without enough width for two lanes on each side of the road. Around this summer, it will formally become a four-lane road to ease traffic congestion.

Toshiya Miki, the general manager of the Construction Division in the Naka Ward Office, said, “I hope the new pedestrian bridge will be popular among citizens and visitors on top of the parapet designed by Mr. Noguchi.”

(Originally published on March 1, 2019)