Innovation That Matters

Floating underwater tunnel will improve traffic in Norway


The Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s latest plans to cut transport times involve crossing the Sognefjord via a submerged, floating bridge.

The Sognefjord tunnel plans are part of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s USD 25 billion “No Ferries” national infrastructure project. The project’s goal is to reduce residents’ need to follow winding routes along the coastline. Tunnels providing direct passage across fjords would make travel faster and particularly benefit rural residents often stranded by weather.

Although the Administration team is considering a number of engineering options, most fjords are too wide and deep for a typical bridge. Submerged floating tunnels would preserve the views and keep water transport channels clear for ships. Underwater tunnels would be held up by pontoons and hang 65 to 100 feet below the surface of the water. Connecting stablizers would hold the lengthy structure in place, and engineers are considering bolting parts to bedrock. The Roads team will make an announcement when a design has been settled upon.

Transport hacks are making life easier for travelers everywhere, by reducing traffic like this underground beer production pipeline does, and by making the commute double task like this mobile spin class. How could driverless vehicles play a role in solving a transport engineering challenge?



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