Water Through Rock
Norway Plans To Build The World's First Ship Tunnel
“The advantage is in bad weather conditions, during which you will save a lot of time and fuel.”
—Terje Andreassen, project manager at Kystverket, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, to Wired
Norway has wanted to create the world's first ship tunnel since the late 19th century. Passing through the narrowest part of the mountainous Stadlandet Peninsula, the tunnel would help vessels bypass circuitous routes through fjords and bays—and avoid chronic bad weather. Now the Norwegian government is moving forward.
But this shortcut is a tall order: The tunnel would be 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) long, 36 meters (118 feet) wide and 49 meters (161 feet) high. The project team will have to blast away 8 million metric tons of rock. Crew members will drill on opposite sides of the peninsula until they meet. After reinforcing the passageway with concrete, the team will allow 12 meters (39 feet) of seawater to enter.
If all goes to plan, the benefits will flow beyond the freight-shipping sector. The sponsor hopes the tunnel, slated to open in 2023, will become a tourist destination and attract passenger ships.
IMAGES COURTESY OF NORWEGIAN COASTAL ADMINISTRATION/SNØHETTA
Stad Ship Tunnel
Stadlandet Peninsula, Norway
The tunnel will be one-way; traffic direction will alternate every hour