Tall Bridge Gives the Perspective of an Impossible Slope

There's a bridge in Japan that looks terrifying to drive over, but it's a little bit more optical illusion than it is impossible engineering.

There's a bridge in Japan that looks terrifying to drive over, but it's a little bit more optical illusion than it is impossible engineering. The Eshima Ohashi Bridge is the largest rigid-frame bridge in Japan that connects Matsue, Shimane and Sakaiminato, Tottori over Nakaumi lake. It is known by the nickname of 'Betabumizaka.' As far as bridges go, it does have a fairly steep slope of 6.1%, but from the side, the roadway looks a lot less terrifying. Located in the Chukogu region of Honshu, this bridge is the largest rigid frame bridge in Japan and even the third largest in the world, according to NY Daily News.

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steep bridge in japan
Source: PeteRawk/Imgur

If you've contracted gephyrophobia, or the fear of bridges (yes that's a thing), from just looking at this roadway, then you wouldn't be alone. The main reason this bridge is sloped so steeply is to allow large ships to pass under the roadway with ease. Driving up and down this roadway in harsh weather really doesn't seem like something you would want to do, but engineers appear to have designed the drainage system well enough to enable necessary traction.

Photos taken head-on of the bridge show all of the vertical climb in one picture, without demonstrating the distance the road has traveled to decrease in elevation. This effect ultimately makes the drive seem a lot more scary, and a little more impossible.

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eshima ohashi bridge slope
Source: mstk east/Flickr

Some photos of this bridge even suggest that it has a 45˚ slope, which is all just visual trickery. What do you think? Would you drive across this scary looking bridge now know that you know that it is safe, or is your fear of heights and maybe even bridges going to stop you from making the trip?

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