Disaster management and Earthquake Measures

Hanshin Expressway monitors meteorological conditions including earthquakes and traffic conditions round the clock, provides necessary information to customers and makes available disaster management equipment and facilities to ensure safety of customers. We also take measures against earthquake against road structures based on lessons from damages of Hyogo-ken Nanbu Earthquake.

Disaster Management

Traffic Control Center

The Traffic Control Center collects every information related to roads from a variety of devices and means, including seismograph and other meteorological observation equipment, monitor cameras, vehicle detectors and other pieces of information collection equipment, and road patrol cars 24 hours a day so that we can provide information in various ways, prevent traffic accidents, and conduct various rescue and support activities to ensure safety of customers. In addition, in case an earthquake of seismic intensity of 5 upper or more occurs, we immediately close the entrances to the expressway, implement road closure and conduct emergency inspection.

Traffic flow monitoring camera

We visually check traffic conditions by displaying image taken by traffic flow monitoring cameras on the graphic panels in the Traffic Control Center on a real-time basis.

Road lighting

We use energy-saving long-life LED lights. We use highly earthquake-resistant and strong straight type poles for light columns.

Road message signs and traffic information radio

Highly visible LED (light-emitting diode) lamps are used for road message signs. In the event of a major earthquake, three types of message will be shown, "Earthquake Occurred - Warning," "Earthquake Occurred - Slow Down," and "Earthquake Occurred - Pull Over." When either of these earthquake messages is shown, check the traffic information radio to check the condition. Two to four broadcasting sections are set up in each route, and the audio information, which differs from section to section, is provided to customers.

Disaster Management Center

We have the Disaster Management Center to serve as an emergency base that conducts integrated and comprehensive response action in the event of a disaster. The Disaster Management Center is connected to emergency terminals installed at departments and to cameras installed in the expressway to maintain the capability of smoothly conducting disaster response.

Seismograph

A seismograph is installed at one or more locations in each route to monitor seismic motions round the clock. Data are sent to the Traffic Control Center on a real-time basis.

Emergency exit

It is installed at a total of 240 locations along our expressway roads. Guide signs on the side walls indicate the locations of those exits. In an emergency situation, any entrance or exit can be used as an evacuation way.

Emergency lay-by

It is provided at 455 locations. Vehicles can park at this space in case of emergency. An emergency phone is also installed at each lay-by. Drivers can contact the Traffic Control Center with this phone.

Emergency phone

Drivers can use emergency phones to contact the Traffic Control Center in case of emergency such as accident, vehicle breakdown, or disaster. The phone is designed to send a call only with button operation.

Earthquake Measures for Bridges

Based on a lesson learned from the damage of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, Hanshin Expressway is working on seismic retrofit of existing bridges and construction of new bridges. There are two types of earthquake that are expected to occur in near future, namely plate-boundary large-scale earthquakes, such as Tonankai and Nankai Earthquakes, and inland earthquakes such as the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Based on this assumption, we take various measures to realize quick restoration of bridge functions in the case those earthquakes occur, including implementation of measures to ensure safety against bridge fall and provision of emergency post-earthquake restoration.

* Seismic retrofit of highway bridges constructed with the same structure as those that fell, collapsed, or were otherwise damaged by the Great Hanshin Earthquake was completed by 2011.

For more details, please see R&D "Earthquake-resistant countermeasures (bridge)".