Norway officials have given the green light to fully finance an ambitious project to build the world's first full-size tunnel for ships.
Stad Ship Tunnel is planned to traverse 1.7 km in length, 37 metres in height and 26.5 metres in width. Norway's construction of the world's first full-scale ship tunnel could begin as early as 2018.
What's interesting is that the tunnel isn't expected to cut much time off the regular route, rather it is designed to allow ships to navigate more securely through the Stadhavet Sea, where the North and Norwegian seas meet.
The Stadhavet Sea is regarded as one of the most exposed and dangerous areas for ships along the coast of Norway, sometimes enduring more than 100 storm days per year and a deadly combination of the wind, currents, and waves.
The work on the world's first ship tunnel is expected to start in 2018; the large-scale project will witness the removal of 7.5 million tonnes of exploded rock. The Tunnel will be located near the Norwegian towns of Teigen and Berstad, between Bergen and Alesund.
As per the Norwegian officials, the construction of the tunnel is anticipated to be built in 4 years, but the whole project is thought to take 12 years to complete, enabling entry to ships only after 2029.
In addition to offering a safer route for sailors, the tunnel is also planned to serve as a popular tourist draw with the possibility of an overhead bridge that will be open to the public.
Norway is recognised as a world leader in tunnelling, having built the Laerdal - the world's longest road tunnel - also in the western region northeast of Bergen, about 24.5km long.
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