Norway plans to build the world’s first tunnel for ships, a 1,709-metres passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea.
Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023.
It will be 36 metres wide and 50 metres tall and is estimated to cost at least $314 million. Norwegian Transportation Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said Wednesday that sea currents and underwater topography in this part of the country’s southwestern coast “result in particularly complex wave conditions.”
The tunnel is expected to be located at the narrowest point of the Stadlandet peninsula and the weather has for decades been considered an obstacle for shipping. Vessels sailing through the tunnel likely will get slot times from a traffic center — like planes at an airport — to avoid congestion.