It will measure 1,700 m and will avoid a 56 km detour along a dangerous coast

Sailing under a mountain in Norway: the Stad ship tunnel project

Boat tunnels are not something new. 2022 we already saw the Standedge tunnel here, built in the 18th century in England.

Sailing underground through Standedge, the longest channel tunnel in the United Kingdom
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However, the Standedge tunnel was built for small boats to navigate through a water channel that was not very wide. In Norway they have a project to do something similar but with a huge size: the Stad ship tunnel. The reason for this project has to do with the very shape of the coasts of that country, full of fjords and small islands that make navigation very difficult.

In the specific case of the Stadlandet peninsula, in western Norway, inclement weather is added to the shape of the coast itself, turning that part of the coast into a very dangerous point for navigation. For this reason, in the 1990s a project for a tunnel for ships that would allow ships to cross the peninsula through its interior was already proposed. The project was finally confirmed in 2013. Construction was initially expected to begin in 2018. Finally, the start of works has been delayed until 2025.

The dimensions of the work itself explain the delays. The tunnel will measure 1,700 meters long, with a width of 36 meters and 49 meters high. Once the water circulates inside, the tunnel will have a depth of 8 meters. Ships up to 21 meters wide and displacing 16,000 tons will be able to sail inside.

The constant postponements of this work, as well as its difficulties, have increased their cost to 5.1 billion Norwegian crowns (452 million euros) in 2023. For their excavation it will be necessary to remove 3 million cubic meters of rock. Once completed, the tunnel will prevent ships from making a 56 kilometer detour.

Obviously, the images that you can see in this entry are artistic recreations of what the tunnel will be like. Eight years ago, the Norwegian Coastal Agency published this video in English explaining the project:


Images: Kystverket.

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