Uncivil engineering.

Roads are the veins through which the very lifeblood of modern society flows, and yet we tend to take them for granted as we trample all over them and spit gum out onto them so that I step in it and have to spend the next 10 minutes…

Sorry, but the point I’m trying to make is that very few of us really appreciate the hard work that goes into planning, constructing, and maintaining the roads that we depend on. Perhaps that’s why someone took it upon themselves to build their own out in an undeveloped part of Shiga Prefecture.

Back in March, the civil engineering department of the city of Takashima received what I have to assume was their first-ever anonymous tip saying that a road had been built on the outskirts of the city off the shore of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.

The subsequent investigation found a road about 70 meters (230 feet) long and 3 meters (10 feet) wide made of compacted soil that connected two landforms in the delta of the Ado River. Tire tracks could be seen on it, indicating some usage.

▼ Google Maps has an image of the road from May 2024 and someone graciously marked it as a tourist attraction where it has received average reviews of 4.5 stars.

The Google Maps image shows the road having suffered some considerable wear, likely from rising water. In addition, the second most recent satellite image is from 2021 and shows no signs of a road or even any build-up of sediment that might suggest this was a natural formation.

With such a gap between images, it’s difficult to determine when the road was built. Takashima residents have no clue either as no one ever goes to this area. According to one local, “there’s nothing to do there except get stung by hornets or bitten by boars.”

This begs the question of why someone would feel the need to build a road that doesn’t appear to go to any place of significance. A reporter from FNN visited the site and found chunks of asphalt, iron, and concrete strewn about, leading many online comments to speculate this was part of an illegal construction material dumping scheme.

▼ A news report on the mystery road

However, after the initial tip-off, the civil engineering department reported the road to the police. Three days after that, they received a call from someone saying, “I did it myself,” and explaining that they had piled up soil to make the road. The civil engineering department then ordered the person to return the area to its original state and they agreed.

However, no motive for building the road has been reported and the rogue engineer has only been charged with unauthorized development and there has been no mention of illegal dumping so far.

Perhaps this person simply wanted to experience the joy and wonder of building and using a road of their own.

Source: YTV News
Featured image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!