Europe

Norway to build world's first ship tunnel through coast

  • In this computer rendered image provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration on Thursday, April 6, 2017, a ferry approaches the entrance of a tunnel for ships. Norway plans to build the world's first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-meter (5,610-feet) passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea. Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023. (Snohetta/Norwegian Coastal Administration via AP)

    In this computer rendered image provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration on Thursday, April 6, 2017, a ferry approaches the entrance of a tunnel for ships. Norway plans to build the world's first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-meter (5,610-feet) passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea. Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023. (Snohetta/Norwegian Coastal Administration via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this computer rendered image provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration on Thursday, April 6, 2017, a ferry approaches the entrance of a tunnel for ships. Norway plans to build the world's first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-meter (5,610-feet) passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea. Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023. (Snohetta/Norwegian Coastal Administration via AP)

    In this computer rendered image provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration on Thursday, April 6, 2017, a ferry approaches the entrance of a tunnel for ships. Norway plans to build the world's first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-meter (5,610-feet) passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea. Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023. (Snohetta/Norwegian Coastal Administration via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Graphic highlights current and new ship sailing routes once the world’s first ship tunnel is built; 2c x 6 3/4 inches; 96.3 mm x 171 mm;

    Graphic highlights current and new ship sailing routes once the world’s first ship tunnel is built; 2c x 6 3/4 inches; 96.3 mm x 171 mm;  (The Associated Press)

Norway plans to build a 1,700-meter (5,610-feet) tunnel for ships — a world first — through a piece of rocky coast to allow vessels avoid a treacherous part of sea.

Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which will be 36 meters (118 feet) wide and 49 meters (162 feet) tall, is estimated to cost at least 2.7 billion kroner ($314 million) and is expected to open in 2023.

Transportation Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen had said Wednesday that sea currents and underwater topography in this part of Norway's southwestern coast "result in particularly complex wave conditions."

Project manager Terje Andreassen said engineers will have to blast out an estimated eight million tons of rock to build the tunnel, which would allow cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons.