On February 27th, the Tsunagi IC opened on the Minami-Kyushu Expressway. With this, the portion of the expressway from Ashikita to Tsunagi is open for travel. It is estimated that traveling between Yatsushiro and Tsunagi on the expressway will be about 44 minutes, a 26 minute reduction of travel time before the expressway was opened.
The new span of expressway stretches for 7.7 kilometers, with three tunnels and a bridge along the way. Traveling on the expressway in either direction between Hinagu and Tsunagi is free. The expressway is planned to extend all the way to Minamata, with the Minamata IC opening in 2018.