Norway will build the world’s first tunnel for ships

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A rendering of the Stad Ship Tunnel in Norway.
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Norwegian Coastal Administration

Stretching over 15 miles, Norway’s Lærdal Tunnel has been the longest road tunnel in the world since it was built in the 1990s.

Now, the country will construct the world’s first tunnel for ships – which will get between 70 and 120 vessels per day.

As noted by BBC News, the tunnel started gaining public support in the 1980s, and the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has since embarked on several feasibility studies to see how it could come to fruition.

In March, Terje Andreassen, the tunnel’s project manager, told Business Insider that the NCA submitted its findings to Norway’s Department of Transport. The project got official approval in April. It will be financed by the Norwegian Parliament, which has already designated approximately $117 million ($1 billion NOK) for the NCA’s research.

Construction will likely start in 2019, and the tunnel is expected to open in 2023, Andreassen told the AP.

The NCA worked with Snøhetta, an Oslo-based architecture firm, to create renderings of what the tunnel will look like. Check them out below.


Norway’s Stad Ship Tunnel will be located on the Stadhavet Sea, an area known for heavy winds and hurricanes.

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Norwegian Coastal Administration

Stormy weather makes it almost impossible for ships to travel in the area. Vessels often wait for hours or even days before it becomes safe enough to cross, Andreassen says. His team at the NCA conducted research on the feasibility of building the tunnel.

source
Norwegian Coastal Administration

The Stad Tunnel will allow for safer passage along the sea, Andreassen says. Here’s a rendering of what it will look like:

source
Norwegian Coastal Administration

From the north, ships will access the tunnel near the town of Selje. The southern entrance will be through the Molde fjord, where there will also be a new pedestrian bridge.

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Norwegian Coastal Administration

The NCA estimates that the mile-long tunnel will see between 70 and 120 passenger and freight ships per day. It will measure 162 feet tall and 118 feet wide.

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Norwegian Coastal Administration

Various kinds of vessels will pass through it, including small ferries, which Andreassen says currently can’t travel along the Stadhavet Sea when the weather’s bad. All ships will navigate the tunnel on their own.

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Norwegian Coastal Administration

To create a channel, engineers will need to blast out approximately eight million tons of rock.

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Norwegian Coastal Administration

Source: The AP


The tunnel will be the first of its kind in the world — but it won’t be cheap. The NCA estimates that its construction could cost around 2.7 billion NOK, or approximately $314 million.

source
Norwegian Coastal Administration