"Hanshin Expressway Earthquake Museum" is a facility designed to provide concrete information on Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake occurred in January 1995. This museum aims at not only preserving how the earthquake destroyed but also conveying how we responded in the 623 days from the moment of the earthquake to the complete restoration of the expressway system. The museum also introduces new technologies and various activities we have developed and put into practice based on the lessons we learned, including disaster management support and educational assistance for disaster prevention.
The Hanshin Expressway suffered enormous damage from the Hyogo-ken Nanbu Earthquake. Major damage included a complete collapse of 635m stretch of viaduct structure and four fallen girders in the Kobe Route (#3) and one fallen girder in the Wangan Route (#5). 34 items with typical damage are exhibited at this museum.
While making full efforts toward restoration, we saw a strong need to pass on this experience of disaster to future generations and, as a part of those activities, decided to select and preserve damaged structures from engineering viewpoints. The pieces of damaged structures collected here are reminiscent of the devastating energy of earthquake, demonstrating how real structure fail and collapse actually, which was only possible in the realm of hypothesis in the past. Although the forces of nature could not be resisted, the communities have been revived by human power and wisdom. Earthquake will come. We strongly hope that valuable information be conveyed and shared among people through this museum, so that collective wisdom generated thereby will contribute to preventing catastrophic disasters in the future. For us, this museum will always be the reminder of safety and reliability, for we see no end to the lessons from which we must learn.