Drivers in Norway could soon benefit from underwater floating tunnels if proposals suggesting that these be built along the E39 (a 21-hour route thanks to seven ferry crossings) come to fruition.
The tunnels themselves will be made of two 4,000ft-long concrete tubes so drivers can go in both directions, with room for two lanes to be created, one for travel us and the other for repair work and emergencies, Wired reports.
It’s hoped that the underwater tunnels will be installed under numerous fjords along the coast by the year 2035, with the project costing a pretty impressive £19 billion to complete.
The tubes would be held up by pontoons on the surface of the water, with connecting trusses installed to keep them stable. It’s also possible that the structure would be bolted to the bedrock for added stability as well.
Senior engineer with Norway’s public roads administration Arianna Minoretti observed that rough weather won’t affect the structure, so rural residents in the country won’t find themselves stranded in an emergency. “Having this connection means that people there do not have to wait for a helicopter to go to the hospital”, the expert was quoted by the news source as saying.
Concrete repairs on these tunnels would certainly be an interesting undertaking and of course, there are considerations like whether the bedrock of the fjords strong enough to hold the tubes up that will need to be taken into account first. We here at Freyssinet will be watching this story as it develops.