Norway has got the go-ahead to construct what’s being billed as the world’s first ship tunnel, designed to help vessels navigate the treacherous Stadhavet Sea. The Norwegian Coastal Administration notes that while other tunnels can accommodate small boats and barges, no other underpass has been built to serve large ships.
The Stad Ship Tunnel will be blasted through 1.7 kilometres of rock at the narrowest point of the Stad Peninsula, allowing ships the size of Hurtigruten’s coastal steamers to navigate it.
While the tunnel isn’t expected to shave much time off the normal route, 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, waves and currents.
Construction is expected to begin sometime during 2022 and if everything goes to plan will be completed in 2025/2026.