A multi-billion dollar infrastructure project is being planned in Norway with what could be the world’s first “floating tunnel".
The project is aimed at cutting the travel time between the cities of Kristiansand in the south and Trondheim in the north, which usually takes 21 hours, while also minimizing the environmental impact of vehicles.
The project consists of a pair of concrete tubes, submerged around 30 meters under the surface of the water, that would be stabilized by cables tethered to the seabed or by pontoons floating on the surface.
"With most of the hardware far below the surface, the tunnel wouldn’t interfere with the movement of ships and boats and even submarines," NBC News quoted Arianna Minoretti, chief engineer for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, as saying.
“We have done simulations for big explosions in the tunnel, we’ve checked for impacts of submarines, we covered scenarios where a trawler might hook onto the tunnel, and we even considered if a ship might be sinking at the surface and hit the tunnel on the way down,” said Nils Erik Anders Rønnquist, a professor of structural engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who is consulting on the project for the government.
“I would say things are under control. It’s a very robust structure.”