Norway has been at the forefront of navigation and seamanship since the time of the Vikings. Time and again, Norwegian shipowners and researchers have challenged the fundamental application of maritime technology, giving way to creations never before seen by the world.
This time, it’s a tunnel. But it’s not just any tunnel. It is being built exclusively for ships. After years of planning, the Norwegian Coastal Administration has confirmed that it has received the green light to begin work on the Stad Ship Tunnel.
Once completed, it will be a marvel of modern engineering, to say the least. Terje Andreassen, the current project manager for the tunnel, said, “Based on the award letter, we will now start acquiring property in the area where the ship tunnel will be located, as well as putting in place a project organization, preparing a tender basis and initiating a tender.”
Construction of the project is estimated to take 3-4 years, with the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) moving forward with an investment of $325 million in seed money. The tunnel will allow ships to bypass a difficult area for navigation on the Norwegian coastline, the Stad Peninsula (Stadlandet). For this reason, Norwegian shipping interests have been calling for a ship tunnel there for several years.
“If everything goes according to plan, the world’s first ship tunnel will be completed in 2025/2026,” says Terje Andreassen.