Keiji Bypass (京滋バイパス)

The Keiji Bypass is the bypass of a national highway that extends from Kusatsu City in Shiga Prefecture to Kumiyama Town, Kuse-gun in Kyoto Prefecture. It is a planning route designated as a local high-standard highway.

The first description below refers to a toll road called the Keiji Bypass and the second refers to a bypass joining National Highways 1 and 24 that is also called the Keiji Bypass.

Toll Road Section

Its toll road section is integrated in the Meishin Expressway to connect the Ritto Interchange (in the direction of Nagoya City) and the Suita Interchange (in the direction of Osaka City) of the Meishin Expressway by passing round the urban areas of Otsu City and Kyoto City.

In terms of laws, the section from the Seta-higashi Interchange to the Kumiyamayodo Interchange, being part of the national highways 1 and 478, is a regional high-standard road; the Kumiyamayodo Interchange to Oyamazaki Junction, a part of National Highway 478, is a high-standard highway designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (a national highway only for vehicles) (Kyoto-daini-soto-kanjo-doro Belt Line of the Kyoto jukan-jidoushdo Expressway); and the section from Oyamazaki Junction to Kumiyamyodo Interchange is a national express highway (a section called the Keiji Bypass of the Chuo Jidosha-do National Expressway).

To reduce congestion on the Meishin Expressway and respond to the need for a road network that could serve as a radial road and belt line in Kyoto City, the construction of the Kyoto-daini-soto-kanjo-doro Belt Line was subsequently planned to connect the Kyoto-Tanba-doro (formerly the bypass of National Highway 9) to the Keiji Bypass. The Kyoto Jukan-Jidoshado Expressway and the Kyoto-daini-soto-kanjo-doro Belt Line were designated as National Highway 478, and their construction has been continuously promoted.

On traffic signs, the section between the Seta-Higashi Junction and the Oyamazaki Junction is identified as the Keiji Bypass so as to make it easier for drivers to understand the signs. Whichever route is chosen--the Meishin Expressway or the Keiji Bypass--the same toll and ETC commuter discount service apply.

The Keiji Bypass here means the service line known as such (between Seta-Higashi Interchange and Oyamazaki Junction) unless otherwise specified.

Overview

Origin: Seta-oe-cho, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture

Terminal: Oyamazaki-cho, Otokuni-gun, Kyoto Prefecture

Total length: 18.9 km

Number of lines: four

Speed limit: 80 km/h

Redemption date: April 15, 2050

Municipalities traversed by the Keiji Bypass

Shiga Prefecture

Otsu City

Kyoto Prefecture

Uji City - Kumiyama Town, Kuse-gun - Yawata City - Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City - Oyamazaki-cho Otokuni-gun

Name of Service Line

National Highway 1 Keiji Bypass, Seta-Higashi IC - Kumiyamayodo IC

National Highway 478, Kyoto-daini-soto-kanjo-doro Belt Line, Kumiyamayodo IC - Oyamazaki JCT

Chuo-Jidosha-do National Highway, Oyamazaki JCT - Kumiyamayodo IC (revised name)

List of Interchanges and Facilities

Sections of the interchange number column that are highlighted in green indicate that the roads are already in service. The facilities with a highlight in ash have not been established.

Roads are operated by local municipalities unless otherwise specified.

Highway Operator

West Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Kansai Branch, Ibaraki office

(Roadways managed by West Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Kansai Branch, Ibaraki Office, include the Kyoto Higashi Interchange - Suita Junction section of the Meishin Highway, the Daini-Keihan-Doro Bypass, and Kyoto areas of the Keinawa Jidoshado Expressway.)

History

August 29, 1988: The opening of Seta-higashi IC/JCT - Ogura IC took place.

March 30, 2003: The opening of Ogura IC - Kumiyama JCT took place. The toll system was integrated into that of the Japan Highway Public Corporation (the present NEXCO).

August 10, 2003: The opening of Kumiyama JCT - Oyamazaki JCT made the entire line available.

December 24, 2003: The Oyamazaki IC opened.

Traffic Volume

Fiscal year 2005 average weekday 24-hour traffic volume (numbers) (road traffic census)

Kumiyama IC - Border of Kyoto Pref./Kyoto City: 27,206

Oyamazaki IC/JCT - Kumiyamayodo IC: 29,136

Others

The Uji Tunnel of this section is, at 4,313 meters, the longest on the National Highway; lane changes are prohibited in the tunnel except between the area 500 meters short of the Kasatori Interchange and the Ujihigashi Interchange.

A well-known Japanese movie called "Odoru Daisosasen The MOVIE 2: Block up the Rainbow Bridge" was filmed around the Kumiyama Junction before it was opened.

Because less distance is traveled between the Seta-higashi Junction and the Oyamazaki Interchange/Junction if drivers take the Keiji Bypass instead of the Meishin Highway, a driver driving at the speed limit on the Keiji Bypass will arrive at their destination more quickly than a driver driving at the speed limit on the Meishin Highway.
The Keiji Bypass has no rest service areas or other such facilities, so it's less congested than the Meishin Expressway (which has two rest areas: Otsu Rest Area and Katsuragawa Rest Area between Setahigashi and Oyamazaki.)

However, due to the design of both the Seto-higashia and Oyamazaki junctions, which require ramps (in the highway lanes) to connect them to the Meishin Highway (in particular the very complicated design of the Oyamazaki junction), drivers have to reduce their speed. Another disadvantage is that drivers often encounter congestion as they attempt to merge into the left lane of the Meishin Highway from the Oyamazaki Junction toward Suita or Osaka. Moreover, many drivers dislike the winding areas and slopes along the Keiji Bypass, so the Keiji Bypass doesn't fully perform its function as a bypass.

Furthermore, it's a bypass of National Highway 1 (a general national highway), which means it isn't a expressway but a motor highway.

When drivers want to get on the Keiji Bypass toward Suita or Osaka from the east side of the Uji-gawa River (near the Ujihigashi Interchange), they must go to the Ujinishi Interchange. This is because the Ujihigashi Interchange is a half-interchange. As a result, local roads linking the Ujihigashi and Ujinishi interchanges are commonly congested during the rush hours. This area is outside the VICS (Vehicle Information and Communication System) link zone, which makes it difficult for drivers to use their congestion-avoidance schemes.

Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture (origin) - Ishiyamadera, Otsu City

Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture (Ujinishi Interchange) - Kumiyama-cho, Kuse-gun (terminus)

See "Kyoto-Daini-soto-kanjo-doro" for descriptions of the sections west of Kumiyama-cho.

Crossing Roads

The upper is nearer to the origin, while the lower is nearer to the termination point. The left is nearer to Tokyo, while the right is farther from Tokyo.

Traffic Volume

Fiscal year 2005 average weekday 24-hour traffic volume (numbers) (road traffic census)

Higashi-yagura 3-chome, Kusatsu City: 41,137

Mori Aza-ouchi, Kumiyama Town, Kuse-gun: 35,493

Road Operator

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Shiga National Highway Office, Kusatsu Maintenance Branch Office

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kyoto National Highway Office, Kyoto First Maintenance Branch Office (National Highway 24, National Highway 1 within Kyoto City)

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kyoto National Highway Office, Kyoto Second Maintenance Branch Office (National Highway 478)