What do you do when you need to get over something? Build a bridge, of course. Japanese roadway architects have taken that hypothesis to its extreme with Eshima Ohashi in the north of the country, with a bridge that veers sharply upwards to clear ships passing beneath it.
The concrete structure arches over Lake Nakaumi, facilitating transport between the two cities of Sakaiminato to the east and Matsue to the west. Spanning roughly a mile in diameter and just under 12m in width, it’s the largest rigid frame bridge in Japan and the third largest in the world. However, it’s not its length or its width which makes Eshima Ohashi stand out from the crowd, but rather the incredibly steep slope which drivers are forced to navigate as they make their way from one side to the other.
Surmounting a gradient of 5.1% on the eastern side and another of 6.1% on the western side, the bridge looks like something which would be more at home in Alton Towers than on a motorway. However, the frequent traffic of ships passing beneath it demands the hair-raising incline, making it a tricky traverse for even the most experienced of drivers. Just remember to put the handbrake on if you’re caught in traffic! And of course, keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times.