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Norway Is Building a Huge Tunnel for Ships

It’s a way to bypass the infamous Stad peninsula, where the sea is so rough it scared the Vikings.

A mock-up of a ship heads for the Stad Tunnel.
A mock-up of a ship heads for the Stad Tunnel. © Norwegian Coastal Administration

The Stad peninsula, which juts out of the Northwestern part of Norway, has long made sailors’ lives more difficult. Getting around it means wrangling with choppy seas, weird currents, and the highest winds in the country. Even the Vikings didn’t like to do it, often choosing to port their ships over land instead.

Now, after centuries of planning, Norway has committed to a solution: they’re going to carve a ship-sized tunnel into the peninsula, Digital Journal reports. After all, if you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, and you can’t go around it, you’ve got to go through it.

“The Stad tunnel for boats will finally be built,” Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said in a statement. This plan, he continued, would ensure “a safer and more reliable passage of the most dangerous and harsh waters for the transport of goods along the Norwegian coasts.”

What it might look like inside of the tunnel.
What it might look like inside of the tunnel. © Norwegian Coastal Administration

The tunnel will be about 100 feet wide and one mile long, and will burrow through the narrowest part of the peninsula, between Moldefjorden and Kjødepollen. In mock-ups from the Norwegian Coastal Administration, it looks a lot like a car tunnel, complete with eerie blue lights and the occasional emergency phone.

Norse engineers have floated the idea of such a tunnel regularly since 1874. After a number of cost-benefit analyses, the government officially signed on yesterday, as part of the larger National Transport Plan. Construction is expected to begin in 2019—at which point being a Viking will be easier than ever.

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