Norway’s long-awaited Stad Ship Tunnel has been given a green light.
The world’s first ship tunnel will allow large ships to avoid the notoriously exposed and treacherous piece of sea at the tip of the 27 km Stad Peninsula in Vestland, on the southwest coast of Norway.
First mooted in 1874, plans for the tunnel have gone through many technical and economic studies to determine whether such a massive venture is practical. The Stad Skipstunnel (Stad Ship Tunnel) was finally included in Norway’s National Transport Plan in 2013.
Now the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), which is responsible for maritime infrastructure on the coast, has been authorised by the Ministry of Transport & Communications to start the first phase of the project – land acquisition and tenders for the work.
The proposed $330m (£237M) tunnel will be just 1.7 kilometres long, but at 37m high and 26.5m wide it will be capable of taking ships up to 21.5m wide (leaving 2.5m clearance on each side), including many of the ships operating the Hurtigruten routes.
The NCA hopes to put the construction contract out to tender this summer and have a signed contractor by the end of the year so that construction work can begin in 2022, and be completed in 2025/2026.