Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway (京奈和自動車道)

The Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway (KEINAWA EXPRESSWAY in English), an approximately 120-kilometer-long arterial high-standard highway (a general national highway exclusively for motor vehicles) as designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, starts in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, runs from north to west in Nara Prefecture and leads to Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture. It is built based on the bypass project for National Highway Route No. 24.

In the revised Ordinance on National General Highways dated April 1, 1993, national-highway route numbers were assigned to some arterial high-standard highways (roads exclusively for motor vehicles constructed with a design speed of 80 - 100 km/h based on national highway bypass projects) (for example General National Highway Route No. 468 to the Metropolitan Inter-City Expressway, and the general National Highway Route No. 478 to the Kyoto Jukan Jidoshado Expressway), but the Keinawa Jidoshado Express was not assigned any specified number in the 400s.

The general National Highway Route No. 24, Keinawa Jidoshado, a ring road connecting the outer lines of the Kinki Region together with the Shin Meishin Expressway, Sanyo Jidoshado Expressway, Kobe Awaji Naruto Jidoshado Expressway and Kitan Renraku Road, promotes exchange between cities and constitutes the Kansai area's large ring road, being approximately 300 km in circumference. A total of eight roads, which constitute a roadway, are outlined together.

Keinakita Road

The Keinakita Road section connecting Kyoto City and Joyo City is now in the planning stage, because there is a plan to improve the Shin Meishin Expressway, a national expressway running east to west in Joyo City, and because the Daini-Keihan-Doro Highway (which opened in 2003) runs parallel with its western portion. The Okubo Bypass also connects these cities, and with the opening of Joyo Junction in the fiscal year 2016 this section can be replaced by the route taking the Shin Meishin Expressway through Joyo Junction to Yawata Junction on the Daini-Keihan-doro Highway.

Currently, the fastest route to Kyoto City from Nara Prefecture is to take National Highway Route No. 307 from the Tanabe-nishi Interchange on the Keinawa Jidoshado Highway, continue along Osaka Prefectural Road No. 17 (Hirakata-takatsuki-sen) and get onto the Daini-Keihan-doro Bypass at the Hirakata-higashi Interchange. More drivers from Nara Prefecture are expected to take this route to the Daini Keihan-doro Bypass via the Tanabe-nish and Hirakata-higashi interchanges, given the January 2008 opening of the Hanshin Expressway Route No. 8 Kyoto Line.

Keina Road

Origin: Terada, Joyo City
Terminus: Ichisaka, Kizugawa City
Distance: 17.0 km
Government Order on Road Design Standards: Type 1, Class 3
Design speed: 80 km/h
Lanes: four (temporarily two)
Width: 22.0 meters
Lane width: 3.5 meters
Keina Road, the first section of the Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway to be opened, runs parallel to the west of (closer to the mountain than) the railway of the JR Katamachi-sen/Kintetsu Kyoto Line, and does so nearly all the way. Today, when people say 'Keinawa Jidoshado Highway,' they generally refer to this section. It runs north to south in eastern Kansai Science City and connects with the National Highway Route No. 24 Nara Bypass at the terminus, the Kizu Interchange (in Kyoto Prefecture). The fastest route between Nara and downtown Kyoto, as noted above in the section on Keinakita Road of the Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway, is to take Keina Road from the Kizu Interchange to the Tanabe-nishi Interchange and the Daini-Keihan-Doro Bypass.

Yamato Kita Road

Origin: Utahime-cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture
Terminus: Yokota-cho, Yamato-koriyama City, Nara Prefecture
Distance: Approximately 12.4 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 3
Design speed: 80 km/h
Lanes: four
Road width: -
Lane width: 3.5 m
The original plan for this section of the Yamato Kita Road was to run underground beneath the Heijokyo ruins, a world heritage designated by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization; however, the plan to construct tunnels was withdrawn out of the concern that they might cause serious damage to the wooden strips preserved by underground water. Early in September 2005, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism changed course and decided to develop the final plan to move the route approximately a kilometer east of the Heijokyo ruins. The final plan proposes the construction of tunnels approximately five kilometers long, which will extend from an area near Heijo New Town in Nara City to Hachijo, Nara City, via the surroundings of Shin-omiya Station, for the sake of preserving the landscape by building tunnels instead of an elevated highway. However, some point out that the canals of the tunnel may technically cut off underwater channels near the mouths of the tunnels. The tunnel running northward is planned to be underwater tunnels, where limited access is imposed on tankers because the tunnels will be placed beneath the moat itself or the surroundings of Uwanabe Ancient Tomb, in order to provide the required space between two tunnels running parallel with each other. Moreover, the effects of emissions from the tunnels on the neighborhood, sightseeing resources and cultural assets can't be ignored, because the emissions will be concentrated and discharged from both ends of the tunnels. The north vent towers will be eight meters high, in compliance with regulations for the scenic (Class 1) area, which suggests that the neighborhood might experience the effects of emissions, because the ground level of the area is higher than that of the towers.

The south vent towers, at 30 meters in height, will be placed west of Daian-ji Temple (under 15 meters of height control in this area). Others point out that many wood strips might have been buried around Hachijo (Daian-ji Temple), because there remain many unexcavated sites around the area. The plan's estimated cost of tunnel construction is reported to be 310 billion yen. However, a different plan proposed by a member of the expert commission to avoid the aforementioned problems estimates the cost at 160 billion yen.

Yamato Gose Road

Origin: Izu-shichijo-cho, Yamato-koriyama City, Nara Prefecture
Terminus: Ide-cho, Gojo City, Nara Prefecture
Distance: 27.2 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 2 (exclusive section); Type 3, Class 2 (general section)
Design speed: 100 km/h (exclusive section), 60 km/h (general section)
Lanes: four
Road width
Exclusive section: 22.0 m
General section: 38.0 m (total width)
Lane width
Exclusive section: 3.50 m
General section: 3.25 m
This section (with a distance of approximately 27 km), which extends from Yamato-Koriyama City to Gojo City in Nara Prefecture, is under construction.

The section between Yamato-Koriyama Junction and Kashihara-Yamato Takada Junction parallels National Highway Route No. 24, the Kashihara Bypass.

The 1.4 km general section (ground level) between Soga-cho and Shido-cho in Kashihara City, the first section in Nara Prefecture, opened on March 30, 2004.
(The 5.7-kilometer section north of it had opened under the name "Kashihara Bypass.")

The section between the Koriyama-minami Interchange and the Kashihara-kita Interchange (7.8 km) opened on April 15, 2006.

With the opening of this section, the four-lane road running north and south from the Kizu Interchange of Keina Road to Kashihara City was opened to traffic.

Gojo Road

Origin: Ida-cho, Gojo City, Nara Prefecture
Terminus: Hatada-cho, Gojo City, Nara Prefecture
Distance: 7.9 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 2
Design speed: 100 km/h
Lanes: four (temporarily two)
Road width: 22.0 m
Lane width: 3.5 m
It extends from Gojo City in Nara Prefecture to the prefectural border with Wakayama Prefecture (a distance of approximately 8 km). The section between the Gojo-kita Interchange and the Nara-Wakayama prefectural border opened in 2006.

Hashimoto Road

Origin: Matsuchi, Sumida-cho, Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture
Terminus: Ono, Koyaguchi-cho, Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture
Distance: 11.3 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 2
Design speed: 100 km/h
Lanes: four (temporarily two)

Speed limit: 60 km/h (interchange section: 40 km/h)
It runs through Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture (a distance of approximately 11 km).

The section between the Hashimoto Interchange and the Koyaguchi Interchange opened on April 27, 2006, and the section between the Nara-Wakayama prefectural border and the Hashimoto-higashi Interchange opened on June 17 of that year.

Although the section of Hashimoto Road between the Hashimoto-higashi Interchange and the Hashimoto Interchange had also been scheduled to open in 2006, many cracks were discovered in the Tarui elevated bridge, which had been completed in 2002; therefore, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism decided to demolish it and rebuild its beams (seven continuous spans) but later accepted the contractor's new plan for repairs and follow-up examinations of the effect, and this section was finally opened on August 2, 2007.

Kihoku Higashi Road

Origin: Ono, Koyaguchi-cho, Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture
Terminus: Jinryo, Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture
Distance: 16.9 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 2
Design speed: 100 km/h
Lanes: four (temporarily two)

It runs from Hashimoto City to Kinokawa City in Wakayama Prefecture (a distance of approximately 17 km).

To date, no section of it has opened.

Kihoku Nishi Road

Origin: Jinryo, Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture
Terminus: Hironishi, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture
Distance: 12.2 km
Road design standard: Type 1, Class 2
Design speed: 100 km/h
Lanes: four (temporarily two)

It runs from Kinokawa City to Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture (a distance of approximately 12 km).

To date, no section of the roadway has opened.

List of Interchanges and Other Facilities

The upper is closer to the origin; the lower is closer to the terminus.

The numbers shown in parentheses are for the interchanges of other expressways. The numbers shown in angle parentheses are pending assignment.

The abbreviations here stand for the following words:
JCT: junction; IC: interchange; BR: bridge

The names given for junctions yet to open are tentative.

A municipal road is connected if not otherwise indicated.

ETC lanes, whose installation work began in late fiscal year 2006, opened on March 31, 2008. Only one ETC lane has been established at the Tanabe-nishi tollbooth in the direction of Kizu, the Seika-shimokoma tollbooth in the direction of Joyo, and the Kizu tollbooth and toll gates of the main expressway. When passing through a tollbooth other than the above, an ETC card is to be handed over to a worker at a manned tollbooth or otherwise inserted into an automatic toll-collection machine, as is usually done.

Guide signs found along Shin Kizugawa-bashi Bridge between the Joyo Interchange and the Tanabe-kita Interchange are green (signs only for expressways), but no other traffic sign dedicated for expressway use has been installed because this section is not a road designated strictly for motor vehicles.

This section has "No Parking, No Stopping" signs as well as a lane dedicated for motorcycle use, as found along Shin Kagetsu-kyo Bridge (Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City) of National Highway Route No. 24 and the northbound Juso Bypass of National Highway Route No. 176 (Kita and Yodogawa wards, Osaka City); moreover, the Tanabe-kita Interchange has a tollbooth for motorcycles.

Moreover, two extra lanes--one for pedestrian roads and the other for cyclists--are found on both sides of the bridge, and the Tanabe-kita Interchange even has a tollbooth for bicycles. The toll, which is 10 yen per motorcycle or bicycle, is to be put in an unattended box, so payment is left to the user's conscience.

In the planning stage, two plans were proposed: the first is to follow National Highway Route No. 24 throughout, and the second is to follow National Highway Route No. 24 and the Nishikujo-saho Line.

Toll Road Section and Toll-Free Road Section

Toll-road sections (managed by West Nippon Expressway Company Limited)
Joyo IC - Kizu IC (Keina Road)
Toll-free roads (managed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
Koriyama-minami IC - Kashihara-kita IC (Yamato Gose Road)
Gojo-kita IC - Koyaguchi IC (Gojo Road/Hashimoto Road)

Opening and Schedule

April 10, 1973: The city plan decided on Yamato Gose Road's 'Yamato Section' as the Kashihara Bypass.
April 16, 1973: The Gojo Road project was launched as 'Gojo Bypass.'
February 17, 1987: The city plan decided on Gojo Bypass. Fiscal year 1987: The Kashihara Bypass was designated as an arterial high-standard highway. Fiscal year 1988: The Gojo Bypass was designated as 'Gojo Road' of the Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway, an arterial high-standard highway. October 5, 1988: Keina Road between Joyo Interchange and Tanabe-nish Interchange opened.

Fiscal year 1989: The project for Hashimoto Road was approved. April 1998: The city plan decided on Hashimoto Road. Fiscal year 1990: The construction of Gojo Road was launched. Fiscal year 1991: The process of land acquisition Hashimoto Road was initiated. July 19, 1991: The city plan decided on Yamato Gose Road. December 21, 1991: The section between the Tanabe-nish Interchange of Keina Road and the Seika Shimokura Interchange opened.

Fiscal year 1992: The project for the Gose and Yamato sections of the Yamato Gose Road was approved. The process of land acquisition started in regard to the Yamato section.

Fiscal year 1993: The project for the Kinokita-higashi Road was approved. March, 25, 1993: The section between the Seika Shimokoma Interchange and the Yamadagawa Interchange of Keina Road was opened.

Fiscal year 1994: The construction of Yamato Gose Road's Yamato section was launched. Fiscal year 1997: The project for Kihoku Nishi Road was approved. Fiscal year 1998: The process of land acquisition for Yamato Gose Road's Gose section started. The construction of Hashimoto Road was launched.

August 1998: The project for Kihoku Higashi Road was approved. December 1999: The project for Kihoku Nishi Road was approved. April 16, 2000: The entire Keina Road was established with the completion of the Yamadagawa Interchange - Kizu Interchange. Fiscal year 2002: The process of land acquisition for Kihoku Higashi Road was started. March 20, 2004: The general road (ground) section of Yamato Gose Road in Kashihara City opened between Soga-cho (National Highway Route No. 24) and Shindo-cho (National Highway Route No. 165, the Yamato Takada Bypass).

April 15. 2006: The segment of Yamato Gose Road between Koriyama Minami Interchange and Kashihara Kita Interchange (except for Miyake Interchange and Tawaramoto Interchange) and the ground road from Koriyama Interchange of Nishimeihan Jidoshado Expressway (Nara Prefecture) to Koriyama-minami IC were opened.

April 22, 2006: Gojo Road between Gojo kita IC and Gojo IC (temporarily two lanes) opened. April 27, 2006: Hashimoto Road between Hashimoto Interchange and Koyaguchi Interchange was opened.

June 17, 2006: Gojo Road became complete with the opening of the segment from Gojo IC of Gojo Road/Hashimoto Road to Hashimoto Higashi IC (via the Nara-Wakayama prefectural border) (temporarily two lanes).

March 25, 2007: The construction of Kihoku Higashi Road between Koyaguchi IC and Katsuragi IC was launched. August 2, 2007: With the opening of the segment from the Hashimoto Higashi Interchange to the Hashimoto Interchange, Hashimoto Road was complete.

Traffic Volume

Fiscal year 2005 Average Weekday 24-Hour Road Traffic Volume Census (Statistical)

Joyo IC - Tanabe Kita IC: 26,661
Tanabe Kita IC - Tanabe Nishi IC: 16,423
Tanabe Nishi IC - Seika Shimokoma IC: 16,100
Seika Shimokoma IC - Seika-gakken IC: 15,091
Seika-gakken IC - Yamadagawa IC: 14,778
Yamadagawa IC - Kizu IC: 9,945

Tsuchihashicho, Kashihara City: 29.618 (general section)

[Original Japanese]