Norway Is Building The World’s First Floating Underwater Traffic Tunnels

Norway has an ambitious plan to install the world’s first floating underwater tunnels to help travelers easily cross fjords.

Credit:

Credit: The Norwegian Public Roads Administration


Commuting in Norway isn’t as easy as it is elsewhere in the world. After all, there is one major obstacle that stands in the way of most travelers in Scandinavia: fjords.

As Hackaday reports, most people rely on ferries to cross the bodies of water in Norway, but that can be time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, the country is seriously looking into constructing the world’s first underwater traffic tunnels which will allow civilians to transit at a much faster pace.

The “submerged floating bridges” would consist of large tubes suspended under 100 feet of water. Each one would be wide enough for two lanes of traffic. Pontoons along the surface would hold up the submerged bridges, and they would connect with trusses to keep all parts stable. There’s also been conversation of bolting the structure to the bedrock below to ensure extra stability.

Credit: The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Credit: The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

The arrangement would undoubtedly be unconventional, but officials say it will be similar to driving through an ordinary tunnel for commuters. And, when it is constructed, it’s not likely Norwegians will be confused about the arrangement, as there are already 35 underwater tunnels in use throughout the country, relays Inhabitat.

Traditional underwater tunnels are impractical to cross fjords, as the deepest in Norway, the Sogn, is almost a mile deep. Bridges aren’t a suitable solution, either, as difficult terrain makes them too dangerous to construct properly. In addition, floating and suspension bridges have the disadvantage of being susceptible to damage from rough weather, and may even interfere with Navy ships that sometimes use the water for training.

It’s for these reasons that the ambitious plan to install the world’s first floating underwater tunnels has been hatched.

Credit: The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Credit: The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Engineers still have a lot of work to do, calculating how the wind, waves and water currents in the fjords might affect the structures, but authorities are optimistic the project can be completed by 2035. In fact, Norway has already committed $25 billion funds to the underwater tunnels.

In the chance that the floating tunnels do prove to be too difficult, politicians have the right to select a different project to receive the funding.

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