Norway is Going to Build World’s First Floating Underwater Tunnels

By: | August 1st, 2016

Image courtesy The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Norway is a beautiful country with tall mountains, glaciers, and deep fjords. But getting from one place to another often requires lengthy journeys. Most people have to use ferries to get from one place to another. These ferries are not only slow but are also subject to weather conditions.

To cope with this problem, Norway is building large concrete tunnels to help travelers easily cross the nation’s many fjords.

One of the important highways that connects the city of Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in the north cuts through a number of fjords. To complete this 680-mile journey (1100 km), one has to take seven ferry trips. However, a tunnel would help in cutting the commute time from 21 hours down to just 11 hours.

Image courtesy The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Image courtesy The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Here are some of the features of these “submerged floating bridges”:

  • The proposed tunnel consists of two 4,000 foot-long concrete tubes. Each one will be wide enough for two lanes – one for travel and one for emergencies and repair work
  • These floating bridges would be suspended by pontoon-like support structures and connect with trusses to keep everything stable. The structure would also be bolted to the bedrock below to provide added stability.
  • Wide gaps between these pontoons allow ships to pass through.
  • They will hang between 65-100 feet below the water’s surface, allowing naval ships to easily pass through overhead.
  • These floating bridges are smartly designed to withstand any tidal movements and the effects of cold weather. Moreover, being at great depth, weather phenomenon like wind and waves won’t affect them.
  • This project is expected to be completed by 2035 and will cost a staggering $25 billion.
Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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