Temporary Bridge and Expressway

Temp Expressway 1969

In trying to plan out the shape of the hillside that separates the large river from the two lengthwise scenes, I started laying out the road that will cross over the hill using white posterboard marked with lanes using black pen. This worked pretty well, and led to the idea of constructing a temporary bridge over the river using gray-faced foam core marked with fine-tipped paint markers I found in a local arts & crafts store.

At the same time, I was mocking up the expressway that will run along the banks of the river. This is based on the Metropolitan Expressway No. 6 “Mukojima Route” that runs along the Sumida near where the Chūō-Sōbu line crosses the river. There are some interesting photos on my new Tōkyō Highway Scenery page. At first I did this using posterboard also, but after building the bridge, I decided to use the same technique for the expressway, to give it a more three-dimensional shape, and let me evaluate the proportions relative to the ground and bridges.

The expressway is a simple two-lane each way design, without a breakdown lane. However, the original has periodic pullover sections, equipped with emergency telephones, presumably for disabled vehicles. I’ve modeled one of those, just above the green bridge, with a sports car pulled over by the police. You can see larger versions of the above and other photos on the new Scenery Photos photo album, and more information about the construction on the “phase 2e” Construction page (down near the bottom of the page).

Now that I have the rough shape done, I can see that I built it a little higher than it needs to be, and I can probably drop it 2-3cm (an inch or so) and still have a nice clearance over the railway bridges. That should make it look more proportionally correct.

Once I’ve done that, and am satisfied with the shape and height, I’m going to tape the pieces together into a smooth surface, and add some cardboard railings to simulate the concrete of the original, then I’ll leave it in place until I’m ready to build the final version (sometime after I get the hillside done, finish the topography of the Riverside Station scene, and actually get trains running on the tracks).

I still need to work out the exact profile of the foam hillside. The tracing paper in the photo above is there so I can mark roads, river, bridges and expressway supports on it, then it will be used as the template for shaping the foam. I’ve placed a few chunks of pink foam atop it so I’ll have a visual reference for the eventual height of the hillside (two inches above the base foam layer, or 2 3/4 inches above the river surface).

Other website updates:

  • I added another photo of a street-running tram to the Tōkyō Trams page.

  • In addition to the photos added to the Highway Scenery page, I’ve also added a couple to the River Scenery page.