Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Submerged Floating Bridge

Norway is famous for having some of the most scenic routes in the world. From lightning-speed rails to self-driving cars, transportation technology has become more and more futuristic over the past decades. Norway is such a small country is positively leading with modernization with its plans to spend a huge $25 billion on a “submerged floating bridge” that will be the first of its kind in the world, and can cut hectic travel times from 21 hours down to less than 11 hours. A feasibility study conducted in 2012 by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) publicized that the floating tunnel could be the best way to bridge the fjord. 

Moreover, Norway has around 1,190 fjords, and their values leaves vast and lovely environments, they present major logistical challenges for traveling residents and visitors alike. People are currently forced to take ferries, which are tiresome and slow, or even drive hours out of the way to cross the fjords. The gigantic underwater tunnel could exactly save an entire day of travel. The massive tunnel is being proposed as part of an enormous infrastructure upgrade to highway E39 in Norway, which runs from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in the north. The lavish proposed tunnel would be made up of large tubes suspended less than 100 feet of water and each one will be ample wide for two lanes of traffic. Therefore, being underwater protects the tunnel from harsh Norwegian weather, and ships and ferries would still be able to pass above. The 684 miles long route cuts across 7 fjords including “Sognefjord”, the largest and best known fjord in Norway and the 2nd longest in the world. “Sognefjord “is over 4,000 feet deep and 3,000 feet wide. The project also happens to preserve the landscape for those who still want to take the scenic route.

Though there are still numerous unidentified factors about the construction, maintenance and execution of the bridge, there is one important thing the government is not worried about. Norwegians are quite used to going underwater in tunnels, the project manager overseeing the revamping of the E39 route. Moreover presently Norway already has 1,150 tunnels, 35 of which go under water. The gigantic tunnel is expected to complete in by 2035, and if the project proves to be too problematic or expensive, other transportation proposals including a floating bridge or a suspension bridge may be considered.