Shirokane road widening plan to start this year

Bad news for this stretch of historic shophouses alongside Kitasato Street in Shirokane. On July 25, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced that a road widening plan will start sometime this year that will see the road widened from its current 11 meters to 20 meters. Doing so will probably require some buildings to be partially or entirely demolished.

This road widening plan was decided in 1946. In the 1940s and 1950s, many city road plans were introduced as the city emerged from WWII destruction. Some of those plans have come to fruition, while others have remained dormant for decades. Kotto-dori Street in Omotesando is one of those long-dormant ones.

Property owners located within districts with road widening plans are compensated based on the value of their property and relocation expenses. 

When buying real estate that is located within a road widening area, this fact must be disclosed to the buyer in the sale documents. 

These projects don’t happen overnight, there is usually a process that the city goes through in order to survey each and every property. This road plan was decided over 70 years ago. A property survey information session was held back in 2018 for related parties. 

The Shirokane road widening project is expected to be completed by the late 2020s ~ early 2030s. It will cost an estimated 18 billion Yen to widen this 930-meter stretch of road, with power lines buried underground and pedestrian footpaths added. The current two traffic lanes will remain but there will be space for buses and other vehicles to safely stop without hindering traffic flow or endangering pedestrians and cyclists. It will also ensure a safe passage for emergency vehicles in the event of a major disaster.

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government News Release, July 25, 2022.

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