On September 29th, Ofunato City and the Council for Improving Logistics at Ofunato Port (headed by Ofunato City Mayor Kimiaki Toda) held a test for trucks transporting large containers (45 feet) on public roads.
These 45 feet containers are 13.7 meters long, which is 1.5 meters longer than the most common container size (40 feet) transported in Japan. Using these containers would make it possible to transport more items/longer items. On September 29th, they inspected the conditions of the roads that would link Ofunato inland, predicting that these containers would be used to transport parts for the International Linear Collider that would be built in the Kitakami mountains of Iwate.
The test was started from the Nagahama-Yamaguchi area of Ofunato Port (in Akasaki, Ofunato), and traveled from National Route 107/397 (a total of 155 km) and National Route 343 (a total of 41 km). Comments from the driver included, “These are larger containers than normal, so it was difficult turning at intersections,” and “You have to be careful when passing by other cars in the tunnels.”
Video recordings were taken of the container’s journey, and will be used along with the driver’s comments to concretely understand where difficult portions of the trip will be. Shunji Nishiyama, director general of Ofunato’s Urban Planning Department, indicated he would use the results when making requests to the national government/prefectural government to prepare the roads. He said, “When we think about what demand there will be after the reconstruction from 3.11 is over, it’s crucial to shorten travel time to the inland areas, and to improve travel conditions. I hope these test results are helpful should we be selected as a port of entry for ILC parts.”