Tunnel project with a budget of NOK 210 billion can be a reality, according to the public roads administration.
Traveling between Kristiansand and Trondheim along the E39 in a car requires a total of seven ferry rides, which brings the journey up to 21 hours. According to a report by the Norwegian public roads administration, submerged floating tunnels is a feasible solution which can reduce the travel time by up to ten and a half hours.
If the project is realised, the first tunnel will cross the Sognefjord between Oppedal and Lavik. Here, the fjord is 3700 meters wide, but a tunnel would be just over four kilometres long. Technically, it would be two tunnels, one for each direction.
Sixteen pontoons would hold the construction floating 12–20 meters below the surface, with a 400 meters wide gap in the middle, to allow ships to pass safely.
Much calculation is still required to decide how much wind and current the construction can take, but the public roads administration estimates that almost 400 000 cubic meters of concrete would be necessary.
There are more benefits with the tunnels in addition to shortened travel time.
“Having this connection means that people there do not have to wait for a helicopter to go to the hospital,” senior engineer in the public roads administration, Arianna Minoretti, tells Wired.com.
And honestly, it is pretty cool.
“For an engineer working on this structure, it’s like being on the Discovery Channel every day,” Minoretti says.
The work with the tunnels through all the seven fjords is expected to be finished by 2035.
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