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Norway Build World’s First Submerged Floating Tube-Bridge

Image Credit: NRPA
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In western coast of Norway there are iconic 1,190 fjords, are protected by UNESCO and are a symbol of national beauty. Norwegian fjords are one of Norway’s major tourist attractions. Hundreds of cruise ships pass through the fjords every year, so it is necessary to improve traffic connections with the least environmental impact in the fjords. Nowadays Norwegians use ferries to cross the water, but this is an uncomfortable means of transport that takes too long along the country’s seaside. If you drive particularly along E39, from the southern city of Kristiansand to Trondheim, you get a long painfully 21 hours experience and involves seven ferry crossings. It happen for countless high-cliffed glacial inlets carved miles into the coasts. However, stunning treks for tourists along a zigzag route through 1,330 kilometers of mountain roads but time and productivity lost for local’s inhabitant of this Scandinavian country.

Image Credit: NPRA by https://assets.weforum.org

To deal with the traffic problems facing this country, the Norwegian Government plans to build for the first time one of the most ambitious plans: to build submerged floating tube-bridge to help travelers pass through the cities of the country. Norway’s Public Roads Administration (NPRA) planned a world’s first underwater floating tunnel. , a new concept of unprecedented project  that are submerged in water and are held by a series of floating pontoons and can be screwed to the bottom of the fjord to provide greater stability.  The submerged project cost is predicted to $25 billion. These proposed solutions could shorten the trip to just over 10 hours. However, the construction is not same as traditional bridge. Norway has geological own problems: the ground of every fjord has its own delicate geology, a traditional bridges can disrupt maritime activities, and steel trusses risk ruining the primeval natural beauty. A hybrid approach can be the solution to the coast’s impassibility.

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Image Credit: NPRA by https://assets.weforum.org

The work consists of installing a tunnel with two tubes, one for each direction of the march and each one of them would be in turn broad enough to house in its interior two lanes of traffic. It will be suspended 30 meters below the surface of the sea and with a total length of hundreds of kilometers that will need a time of 10 hours to be crossed by car from one end to another. The tunnel will start in the town of Kristiansand and end in Trondheim. The tunnels takes time seven and nine years to final complete after plans have approved. Moreover, number of geological surveys required to be completed final plan.

In Norway, a conventional bridge or suspension bridge cannot be built due to its unpredictable weather, the rocky landscape and the fact that the ships of the Navy must pass through the zone to carry out their maneuvers. The designed is resist to any tidal actions as well as the effects of ice in cold weather. As the tunnel are below the surface, weather phenomenon such as wind and waves should not affect them either. The completion date of the project is planned for 2035, as engineers have yet to find a way to keep travelers safe and the structures of natural phenomena such as wind, waves and water currents Of the fjords. The government of Norway has reserved 22.387 million euros for its construction.

Keeping the environmental in plan, they reserve the landscape for those who still loves to visit with scenic route.

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According to the project description, this road tunnel will comprise two curved concrete tubes, each 1,200 meters long, and suspended some 30 meters below the surface of the Norwegian sea. The first-of-its kind construction will connect villages of Oppedal and Lavik, consist of two 4,000-foot-long (1,200 meter) curved solid concrete tubes. Each cylinder tubes will have space for two lanes – one for transportation and one for any road traffic emergencies and regular maintenance.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Image Credit: NPRA by https://assets.weforum.org

Numerous floating barges necessary for their support will support the submerged structure, staying afloat at a safe distance to allow passage of shipping vehicles, such as ferries.

The interior of the tunnels will look the same as a regular motorway, with two lanes in each direction of vehicle traffic, and will have bike paths, emergency exits and lighting and ventilation systems.

The project plans to modernize the road along the entire E39 route, also building new motorway bridges and some mountain tunnels that will be submerged to a prudent depth below sea level to communicate the foundations of the terrain with the exit to the tunnels which cross the fjords under water.

The number of tunnels that the Norwegian Government intends to build is unknown. If the project is finally completed, its construction could be completed by 2035 with allocated 25 million dollars. Today, Norway has the Laerdal road tunnel, the longest in the world, about 24.5 kilometers long. Built under the mountains in 2000, it connects the towns of Laerdal and Aurlud and features a striking and gentle interior design of lights and caves to prevent drivers from being stressed during the underground journey.

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Norway, a country at the forefront of architecture, currently has some underwater tunnels, but none as deep or as large as those intended by this plan.

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