PostHeaderIcon Quake Cripples Japanese Bureaucracy

I remember my shock at the video of the damage done to Japans highways, and thinking it would take them years to get their infrastructure functioning again. Perhaps not:

On March 17, work began to repair a section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka which was basically ripped apart when the quake hit. An amazing six days later it was good as new, and re-opened to traffic Wednesday night.

Here in the U.S. similar reconstruction probably would have taken months, with such obstacles as bids for the contract and bureaucratic red tape delaying the project. Ground Zero in New York City, obviously a much larger project but still just a hole in the ground after nearly ten years, is a shining example.

As an ex-contractor accustomed to dealing with those bureaucratic obstacles, and suffering weeks long traffic jams during freeway resurfacing projects, it is exceedingly difficult to get my mind around this achievement. Are there no construction unions in Japan? Where are the bureaucrats? How did they manage to get the “environmental impact statement” and permits done in six days, much less the actual construction? Astounding. ◄Dave►

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