Norway’s Ship Tunnel

A few years ago I was visiting Oslo to present a series of workshops, and on one evening one of my hosts drove me into the city centre for a meal out. I was intrigued by the underground/through-the-water tunnels that we drove through. With so much water around, the engineers had found a way of suspending vehicle tunnels through waterways. Very cool.

And now they’re building a tunnel for ships:

Norwegian officials have given the green light to fully finance what is set to become the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel, bypassing one of the most dangerous areas for vessels along the Norwegian coast.


The Stad Ship Tunnel will be blasted through 1.7 kilometers of rock at the narrowest point of the Stad Peninsula, allowing ships the size of Hurtigruten’s coastal steamers to navigate it.


What’s fascinating is that the tunnel isn’t expected to shave much time off the normal route, rather it is intended to allow ships to navigate more safely through the Stadhavet Sea, where the North and Norwegian seas meet. The Stadhavet Sea is considered one of the most exposed and dangerous areas for vessels along the coast of Norway, sometimes experiencing more than 100 storm days per year and a dangerous combination of wind, currents, and waves.

New ways of sailing, indeed. Talk about re-imagining the possible!

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