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11/11/2012

Omi-Ohashi Bridge to be toll-free in December 2013

Omi-Ohashi Bridge, a toll road connecting Otsu and Kusatsu, will start being toll-free on  December 26, 2013. Having consulted with the national government, the Shiga Prefectural Government came to a conclusion that there is no legal ground to continue collecting tolls after the said day.

The Omi-Ohashi Bridge Management Review Committee, a committee that consists of experts expected to advise the prefecture of optimizing the management of the toll-road, was briefed by the prefecture about the conclusion at its third meeting on Ocotober 30.

The committee members expressed their concerns about traffic congestion and financial burden, however, all of them shared the same perception that becoming toll-free is inevitable.

"We understand that making the bridge toll-free is the only choice under the present legal system, but we are skeptical of it considering the effectiveness of the management. We hope that national government will create a new system, " says Chairperson Hiroshi Tsukaguchi, professor at Ritsumeikan University, referring to the committee's desire to propose policy recommendations urging the national government to take further action.

(Kyoto Shimbun, October 30, 2012)

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