The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has announced its plan to build the world's first ship tunnel with an investment of around NOK2.7bn ($315m).
The proposed tunnel will allow vessels to navigate more safely through the Stad Peninsula mountains, and is set for development as part of the Norwegian National Transport Plan (NTP) for the period of 2018 to 2029.
NOK1.5bn ($174m) of the total NOK2.7bn sum has already been earmarked for use in the first phase of the NTP, which will run through 2018 to 2023.
The Stad ship tunnel will feature a length of 1,700m and a width of 36m, with 1,625m² cross-sectional areas. It will also feature 49m height between the ground and ceiling.
Construction of the tunnel is expected to begin by 2019, following the delivery of a pilot project by NCA to the Norway’s ministry of transport and communication before the end of 2017.
The pilot project will include an impact assessment and a study of various technical aspects of the proposed tunnel's structure.
An external quality assurance process (KS2) will also be carried out before the tunnel project is presented to the Norwegian parliament.
Norwegian Coastal Administration Stad ship tunnel project manager Terje Andreassen said: “We experience great interest in the project; beyond that, it is a project that will secure safe journeys and transportation of passengers and freight on the most exposed and dangerous part of the Norwegian coast.
“In recent weeks we have shared film, photographs and interviews with journalists in the UK, the US, Germany, Poland, Brazil, Argentina and Australia. We expect the interest to become even greater when the actual construction begins.”
The NCA noted that construction of the ship tunnel is expected to take three to four years to complete.
Image: Illustration of Stad tunnel entrance at Moldefjorden, Norway. Photo: courtesy of Kystverket / Snøhetta / Norwegian Coastal Administration.