In a lesson for Aussie infrastructure bosses, Japanese authorities have managed to repair a massive sinkhole that swallowed a stretch of a 5-lane highway in the city of Fukuoka -- in under a week.
The gaping hole in the southern Japanese city first showed up on November 8, causing consternation among residents and cutting off power and gas in the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture. It reportedly measured about 30 metres wide and 15 metres deep, and was likened to the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
The speed at which the hole appeared was almost matched by the rapidness of repair work, with workers swiftly starting to fill in the cavernous gap.
Amazingly, the road was reopened just under a week later in time for the afternoon peak on Tuesday afternoon local time.
Despite the sterling reconstruction effort, mayor of Fukuoka Soichiro Takashima apologised to residents put out by what was a big traffic hassle in the city of more than 1 million people.
"I sincerely express my gratitude to everyone for their efforts. From now on I will do my utmost to investigate the cause and compensate for the damage," he's quoted as saying.
City officials indicated that the collapse was sparked by subway construction and the nation's Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry is looking into the cause of the sinkhole, according to media reports.