高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 5, 2013
Focus should move from rebuilding expressways to ensuring their safety
高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を(5月4日付・読売社説)

How should the nation's aging expressways be maintained and managed? It is crucial that the focus of expressway maintenance be shifted from building new roads to ensuring the safety of existing ones.
 老朽化が進む高速道路をどう維持、管理していくか。「造る」から「守る」へ、整備の重点を転換することが重要だ。

Three major expressway operators--East Nippon Expressway Co., Central Nippon Expressway Co. and West Nippon Expressway Co.--have estimated renovation costs needed for the continued use of their expressways over the next 100 years.
 東日本、中日本、西日本の高速道路3社が今後100年間、道路を利用するために必要な改修費用を試算した。

They estimate a total of 5.4 trillion yen will be required: 2 trillion yen for the major rebuilding of aging expressway bridges and tunnels and 3.4 trillion yen for repair work on roads and other facilities. If the operators rebuild all the aging sections instead of repairing them, the total cost will exceed 10 trillion yen, equivalent to seven years of their highway toll revenues.
 老朽化した橋やトンネルの大規模な建て替えに2兆円、道路設備などの修繕に3・4兆円の計5・4兆円が必要という。補修箇所をすべて造り替えると10兆円超で、7年分の料金収入に相当する。

Construction of the expressways operated by the three companies picked up speed after the 1960s. The length of the roads now extend to about 9,000 kilometers in total. Forty percent of the expressways are 30 years old or older.
 3社の高速道路は1960年代以降、建設が進み、全長約9000キロに及ぶ。このうち30年以上経過した路線が4割を占める。

The growing size of vehicles, corrosion from salt used for deicing and other factors have damaged the roads.
 車両の大型化や、凍結防止剤に含まれる塩分による腐食などが道路の損傷を招いている。

Late last year, a ceiling collapsed in the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture, shedding light on the serious deterioration of infrastructure that is endangering people's lives. It is evident the current maintenance and inspection system needs to be revamped drastically.
 昨年末には、中央自動車道の笹子トンネルで天井板の崩落事故が起き、利用者の命にかかわる劣化の実態が浮き彫りになった。従来の保守・点検を抜本的に改める必要があるのは明らかだ。

First of all, the expressway operators should conduct inspections to determine the actual conditions of their aging roads. Based on clear-cut standards, they should determine whether the roads should be repaired or rebuilt and set priorities for the work. They also need to accelerate work to swiftly draw up long-term maintenance plans.
 まず、点検で老朽化の現状を把握すべきだ。修繕するか、造り直すか、明確な基準に基づいて判断し、優先順位を決める。長期計画の策定を急ぐ必要がある。

Funding is biggest challenge

Estimates also show that renovation work for the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway and the Hanshin Expressway would cost up to 910 billion yen and 620 billion yen, respectively. These figures must be scrutinized to determine if they are reasonable.
 首都高速道路が最大9100億円、阪神高速道路も6200億円が必要との試算をまとめている。こうした試算が妥当かどうかも精査しなければならない。

The biggest challenge the operators face is how to finance repairs and rebuilding.
 最大の問題は、財源である。

Under a plan launched when the highway public corporations were privatized in 2005, their debt of about 40 trillion yen would be repaid by 2050. After the full repayment, the plan calls for the expressways to be tollfree.
 2005年の道路公団民営化時に決めた計画では、旧公団時代に抱えた約40兆円の借金を50年までに全額返済し、その後は道路を無料開放することになっている。

However, the plan does not include costs for major repair work on expressways. Due to the current dire fiscal straits, taxpayers' money cannot be used for the work, but drastic toll increases would spark a public backlash.
 ところが、これには大規模な改修を行う費用は盛り込まれていない。厳しい財政事情で税金投入は難しく、大幅に値上げすれば利用者の反発が強いだろう。

In light of this, we view a funding method in which the operators would set aside a certain amount of money from toll revenues for the renovation work as feasible. By reducing the annual amount of repayment, the operators could use the money to maintain the aging roads, but this would inevitably push back the repayment deadline.
 料金収入から一定額を改修費用に積み立てる方式を導入するのが現実的ではないか。毎年の返済額を減らすことで、老朽化対策に資金を回せる。債務の返済期限を延長するのもやむを得まい。

Discuss future toll system

However, the companies should not increase the number of wasteful projects in the name of repair and rebuilding. The idea of tapping private funds in tandem with regional development projects and keeping the costs down appears to be viable. Future projects should be decided from the perspective of cost-effectiveness.
 とは言え、改修名目でムダな事業を増やしてはならない。地域開発と合わせて民間資金を活用し、費用を圧縮する案も有望だ。費用対効果の見極めが必要である。

To deal with aging expressways, a future toll system should also be addressed. The operators should consider many matters, including a review of toll discounts introduced in fiscal 2008 as part of stimulus measures and the consistency of tolls across the nation, with the tolls on Honshu-Shikoku bridge expressways significantly higher than in other regions.
 老朽化対策は、高速料金のあり方も問い直す。08年度に景気対策で始めた料金割引の見直し、料金が割高な本四架橋との整合性など検討すべき課題は多い。

The highway toll system has undergone flip-flops: A 1,000 yen ceiling was set for tolls for some time, and tolls were once temporally dropped. It is high time for the nation to thoroughly discuss an ideal expressway toll system.
 1000円走り放題や無料化など、迷走を続けてきた高速料金政策を本格的に議論する時期だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2013)
(2013年5月4日02時05分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-05-06 09:55 | 英字新聞

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