Photo/IllutrationThe new east exit underground plaza under construction in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward is unveiled to the media on March 7. The lower part of the ceiling holds part of the Shibuyagawa river. (Makiko Ikenaga)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Railway operator Tokyu Corp. has updated the progress of the construction of a new underground plaza and reservoir around Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya Station.

Tokyu showed off the new east exit underground plaza on March 7, which covers about 1,600 square meters, as well as the reservoir that will store excessive rainwater.

It intends to open the area as a passage for pedestrians in autumn 2019 and complete the facility before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The underground plaza runs beneath the Shibuyagawa river, whose course has been redirected as part of the project. The river flows on part of the ceiling of the complex, which is angled downward.

The project aims at enabling the new facility to become an important transport hub by accommodating stations of the Tokyu, Tokyo Metro Co. and East Japan Railway Co. lines.

The underground reservoir, which measures 22 meters east to west and 45 meters north to south, will be utilized if the district experiences heavy rain showers.

It will hold up to about 4,000 tons of rainwater, equivalent to the volume of eight 25-meter-long swimming pools.