JR Tokai to Suspend Tunnel Work for Maglev Line

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
JR Tokai sign

Nagoya, May 16 (Jiji Press) — Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, will briefly suspend drilling work at a tunnel for the planned Chuo Shinkansen magnetic levitation train line, after water levels in nearby wells decreased, President Shunsuke Niwa said Thursday.

JR Tokai will dig several hundred meters deep to investigate geological conditions around the tunnel in Mizunami, Gifu Prefecture, Niwa said at a press conference. When the survey will start and how long it will last remain to be decided.

The halt will not affect the opening of the maglev line, expected for as early as 2034, Niwa said.

He added that JR Tokai will dig a new well in several days to secure an alternative water source.

JR Tokai in late February recognized a water level decline at a well it had set up as an observation point. It later confirmed dips in water levels at 14 locations including communal water sources and wells at private homes.

“Since no other construction work that could affect groundwater levels has been carried out in surrounding areas, we believe there is a high possibility that the decline was caused by (the tunnel) work,” Niwa said.

The Gifu prefectural government asked JR Tokai to report the cause of the water level decline as soon as possible.