World’s First Ship Tunnel Set For Norway

The Norwegian government has given the go ahead for the construction of what will be the world’s first ship tunnel.

It has agreed to fully fund the project, which will allow vessels to avoid some of the most dangerous waters off the Norwegian coast. Running for 1.7 miles, the tunnel will be constructed through the narrowest part of the Stad Peninsula.

The seas along the Stad Peninsula are notoriously stormy and this tunnel will make journeys by sea safer. It won’t make much difference to the amount of time it takes ships to navigate this stretch of coast, where 33 people have lost their lives since the end of World War 2.

Work on the project is expected to begin in 2018 and it could take up to ten years before the tunnel is operational.

Under the current plans, the tunnel will be 45m high and 36m wide, and will be able to accommodate ships with a draft of up to 12m.

Bjorn Lodemel, an MP for the Sogn and Fjordane region that covers the Stad Peninsula, explained there are a number of expected benefits from the tunnel.

“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,” he stated.

As tourists are expected to be interested in the tunnel, a viewing bridge is also included in the plans.

According to Ship Technology, the plans for this tunnel have gone through many changes over the years. In the first proposal in 1984, the tunnel was designed to accommodate vessels of up to 600t. The current plans will enable vessels of up to 16,000t to navigate the tunnel.

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