AUTHOR: LIZ STINSON.
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04.09.17.
TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM.
NORWAY’S BOLD, MAYBE FOOLHARDY PLAN TO BUILD THE WORLD’S FIRST SHIP TUNNEL
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NORWAY IS HOME to more than 1,100 road tunnels. They cut through the mountains and stretch under its deep sea, allowing vehicles a more direct route through the country’s challenging terrain. The Scandinavian country has burrowed thoroughfares for nearly every mode of transportation—except one.
“We build a lot of tunnels, just not for ships” says Terje Andreassen, head of Kystverket, the Norwegian coastal administration. It’s strange when you think about it. Norway has more than 18,000 miles of coastline, punctuated by rugged cliffs that jut into the sea like outstretched fingers. The country’s fjords fill the long, slender gaps between the cliffs. These narrow inlets are famed for their beauty, but are a pain for shipping vessels. Traversing the country’s coast requires venturing in and out of fjords, which is inefficient; and rough waters on the open ocean occasionally strand boats in an inlet’s relatively placid waters. That’s why, for the last two years, Kystverket and the architecture firm Snohetta have plugged away at a proposal to build the world’s first ship tunnel. The recently approved plan calls for a mile-long passageway through the Stadlandet Peninsula in northwestern Norway, and would afford boats a safe and quick alternative to the tumultuous waters separating two major fjords.
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Seems so obvious.
And a great engineering feat.
Makes life better, safer, and more predictable for their society.
My only question is: “As a gooferment project, as opposed to one funded and done by an entrepreneur, how much of a boondoggle will this become?”
We’ll just have to wait and see.
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