The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge connects the city of Kobe to Awaji Island across the Akashi Straight. Prior to the bridge’s completion in 1998, the only way to get across the straight was by ferry, which was often dangerous because of the area’s volatile weather. The Akashi Straight is an important shipping lane, necessitating the bridge’s great height. The steel cable used during construction can circle the world more than seven times. At 2km, the central span is the longest single span of any bridge in the world. The total length is 4km and it is the world’s longest suspension bridge.