World’s First Ship Tunnel is being made in the Norwegian mountains as the country has given approval for a tunnel bypassing the Stadhavet Sea.
With this tunnel in place, vessels bound for the treacherous waters of Stadhavet can easily navigate without much difficulty. The tunnel was proposed by the Norwegian Coastal Administration a few years ago who thought a 118 feet wide tunnel passing through the Stadhavet mountains would be good for shipping.
The government expects an estimated cost of 2.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($330 million) to build this ship tunnel in 4 years. Construction work will begin next year.
“It’s a project that has been planned for decades. So it’s very pleasant to finally be able to start the construction work in one year,” said temporary project manager Terje Andreassen from the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
“The coastline outside that peninsula is the stormiest area in Norway, with the hurricanes. You get a lot of strange currents here”, Andreassen added further stressing the need for this tunnel.
Ships face a tumultuous sea coupled with bad weather in the Stadhavet at present. Also, most of them have to wait days for ideal conditions to dock at the nearest harbor. The tunnel will greatly reduce this problem as weather and currents won’t come in the way.
If ship journeys turn out to be faster and safer this way, high-speed ferry service can soon begin to operate through the tunnel, strengthening the region’s industrial and commercial portfolio.
“It will be connected better, it will be easier to travel,” says Andreassen.
One of a Kind Underpass
There are several other tunnels in the area which facilitate the transit of boats and barges but none at a scale like the proposed tunnel. This would be the first underpass that can carry large vessels.
The proposed tunnel is an engineering marvel that will exploit the narrowest point of the Stadhavet peninsula, thus making it the shortest route through it.
The entry and exit points would be controlled by traffic light systems. Underground drilling rigs and pallet rigs will dig the burrow for the tunnel which would require some buildings and rocks to be removed. 3 million cubic meters of rocks have to be removed to built the tunnel which will look like “a large and long mountain hall.”
“While the tunnel is likely to attract the attention of infrastructure enthusiasts from across the world, the chief goal of the tunnel is to simply make transiting the Stadhavet Sea ‘safe’ and ‘predictable’,” says Andreassen.
“And at present, it won’t be possible to walk through the tunnel on foot, so if you’re intrigued, going via boat will be the only option”, he added.