Norway will be building the world's first ship tunnel in a rocky terrain to allow ships to take a detour from the turbulent waters it will encounter by the Stad region. Called as the Stad Ship Tunnel, the 1,700-metre (5,610-ft) underpass will allow cruise ships and freight vessels to avoid the waves caused by heavy storms frequently hitting the area.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration will see the construction of the tunnel in 2019 with a $313-million budget for excavation and building of the project. Project Manager Terje Andreassen told The Guardian it will blast eight million tons of rocks for the tunnel to happen. Expected completion date will be in 2023.
Vessels of up to 16,000 tons can be accommodated, but those boats that measure less than 70 meters will be free. The passageway is planned to be built at the narrowest point of the Stadlandet region where the weather hits the area as much as 100 days, making the voyage more dangerous.
Travel and Leisure reported the Norwegian Transportation Administration as saying, "The Stad Sea is the most exposed and most dangerous area along the coast of Norway." The spokesperson continued to say that by building the ship's tunnel, it'll lessen the chance of accidents and heighten passenger and freight security. Moreover, it'll boost economic and industrial developments in the peninsula.
Upon completion, the passengers might miss sceneries of the fjords along the usual route, but contractors say the tunnel will become a tourist attraction itself. Ships will get to pass by the Moldefjorden Bay and move to the Kjødepollen within 10 minutes and not travel by any of those tempestuous waters. Travel time between Norwegian cities and towns by the area are seen to shorten because of the passageway.
There have been plans to build a tunnel in Stad, but it was only now that they had financed a project.