Norway is to build the world’s first ship tunnel. The 1.7 km Stad tunnel will cost around $319m and take a decade to construct. It is located on a treacherous part of Norway’s west coast where a number of ships have foundered over the years.
The tunnel will allow both freight and passenger ships to transit directly between the Norwegian Sea to the north and the North Sea to the south while remaining within fjord waters. This will finally allow year-round safe passage of ships shuttling between Bergen and Alesund.
The tunnel has been deliberated for more than a century – with it first mooted in a newspaper article from 1874.
Bjorn Lodemel, an MP for the Sogn and Fjordane region that includes the peninsula where the tunnel will be built, commented: “It will provide a safe journey around Stad, laying the foundation for the region’s industrial development and establishment as a world-class tourist destination. It will also facilitate the shifting of more transport from road to sea.”
The 45 m high, 36 m wide tunnel will traverse under a 645 m mountain and will be able to accommodate ships with a draft of 12 m.