Norway has drawn up plans to build the world's first shipping tunnel, according to a report from The Globe and Mail
. Officials say the tunnel would save time and money for vessels passing through a coastal area known for its dangerous seas. Strong winds, high waves and powerful currents in the area of Stad on the western coast of Norway cause long delays while ships wait for calmer conditions.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration
(NCA) is behind the recommendation to build the 1,700-metre tunnel and has concluded that it would be cost effective. The tunnel would cost an estimated $316m and take five years to build. Plans for construction have the tunnel cutting through a peninsula which would save ships the treacherous journey around the coastline.
The NCA has recommended a design that would provide flexibility for future growth in ship sizes.
The plan has been sent to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal affairs, which could present it to parliament in 2009 at the earliest.