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Stad Ship Tunnel: Norway to Build World First Ship Tunnel


Norway is planning to build the world’s first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-m tunnel which will cost more than $300m and allow cruise ships to by­pass the most risky area along the coast of Norway. The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) will spearhead the project which is expected to start in 2019. The passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea. Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023.

“There are still many pieces of the puzzle that need to be put into place before construction can start, but we have previously stated that the actual construction could be at the earliest in 2019,” said Terje Andreassen, project manager for Stad ship tunnel at NCA.

As per plans, the megastructure has a ground to ceiling height of 49 meters, a cross-sectional area of 1625 sq. m. and a width of 36m between tunnel walls. Passenger ships will be given priority but leisure boats and other vessels will also be able to use the tunnel. It will be free for vessels measuring less than 70 meters.


Why a Tunnel?

The Krákenes lighthouse, just south of Stad, is the meteorological weather station with the most stormy days, which can be anything from 45 to 106 days per year. The combination of wind, currents and waves around this part of the coastline make this section a particularly demanding part of the Norwegian coast.

The combination of sea currents and subsea topography creates particularly complex and unpredictable navigational conditions. Very high waves come from different directions at the same time and can create critical situations. The conditions also cause heavy waves to continue for a number of days once the wind has died down, causing difficult sailing conditions even on less windy days.


Project Status

The project is embarking upon a feasibility study phase. When the feasibility study is complete it will undergo external quality assurance, phase 2. The Norwegian Coastal Administration has pre­pared a concept selection report (KVU 2010) which discusses the alternatives “Zero alternative” (with no new measures), “Small tunnel” and Large tunnel” (Hurtigruten).


The Project

NCA will deliver a pilot project to the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the spring of 2017. Further, the project will undergo an external quality assurance process (KS2) before the project is presented to the Parliament, who then formally decides on project funding. Quality assurance has been carried out (KS 1 report), which was commissioned by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Finance for KPU 2010.

 

 

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