Norway is about to build what it’s calling the world’s first ship tunnel. After decades of planning, the Norwegian Coastal Administration just received approval to move forward with the project, with construction slated to begin in 2022.
The Stad Ship Tunnel will run through the Stadhavet peninsula in the northwest, and it should help ships safely bypass the dangerous, exposed waters of the Stadhavet Sea, where the topography and ocean currents are known to produce high waves coming from all different directions. Once complete, it will be 1.06 miles long and 118 feet wide, and it should be large enough for most of the vessels in the coastal voyage fleet to pass through, though it will be too small for most cruise ships.
Currently, an estimated 20 percent of ships are delayed at Stad due to sea conditions, and much of Norway’s goods transport happens over land because of the risks associated with sailing around the peninsula. The Stad Ship Tunnel should help the country establish more reliable shipping routes.
The project will take three to four years to complete and should cost approximately $330 million. Considering the Norwegians have been considering a tunnel for more than 100 years, however, this seems like a very short time to wait, and a small price to pay.