TOKYO, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Japan's parliament enacted legislation on Wednesday to extend the toll collection period for the country's expressways by up to 50 years until 2115, local media reported.
The extension is aimed at securing funds necessary to update aging tunnels and bridges as expressway toll revenue is projected to drop due to the country's declining population, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The funds will also be used to make all expressways have four lanes, a measure expected to help ease traffic congestion and reduce risks of expressway blockages during disasters, it added.
Currently, about 40 percent of all expressway sections in Japan have only two lanes on a temporary basis, according to the NHK.
The tolls were introduced to cover construction costs. The collection was originally intended to end by 2065, after which the expressways were meant to become toll-free. ■