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The world’s first ship tunnel

The Stad Peninsula in Norway has a very harsh, windy climate and is one of the most dangerous coastlines in the region. As the meeting place between the Norwegian Sea and North Sea, there are no outlying islands protecting the peninsula from rough seas. It is the most exposed and most dangerous stretches of Norway’s coast. Challenging waves, winds and gales combined with ocean current often create difficult conditions for passing vessels. The turbulent waters have claimed the lives of dozens of sailors over the last several decades.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration wants to build the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel to create a safer and more efficient passage for commercial vessels.

As far back as the 1870s there were proposals for the construction of a ship tunnel in Stad. Norwegian Transportation Minister announced that “Over the years, plans had been floated but now a project with a financing is ready”. The construction of the tunnel would involve blasting through 7.5 million tons of rock. This could take up to four years to complete.

A 1,700-meter passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula will be 36 meters wide and 49 meters tall and the water will be 12 meters deep in the tunnel. It is expected to open in 2023.

The world’s longest road tunnel is also in Norway. The 24.5km-long Laerdal tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the world, stretches between Aurland and Laerdal on the main highway connecting capital of Oslo and the second largest city of Bergen. In Norway, it’s practically impossible to drive from one place to another without making a mountain crossing or riding on a ferry across a fjord. Reliable all-weather snow-free, fjord-free land connections were needed between cities. There are over 900 road tunnels and at least 33 undersea tunnels. (Floro Mercene)