NORWEGIAN engineers have proposed a truly innovative solution to a travel difficulty faced by the picturesque country. Driving the 680 miles from the country’s southern port of Kristiansand to Trondheim in the north via highway E39, for example, can take 21 hours and includes seven ferry trips.
As a part of huge infrastructure project in Norway, engineers have proposed to build a world first floating underwater tunnel in a fjord — a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs. The structure will consist of two curved, 1200m-long concrete tubes hanging 20 to 30m below the surface. The tubes would be connected to floating pontoons on the surface.
The structure is officially called a submerged floating tube-bridge but is also known as a Archimedes Bridge. The Archimedes principle is named after the Ancient Greek mathematician who came up with the buoyancy calculation, supposedly while sitting in the bathtub.
Norway has so far committed $25 billion in funds to the project, which is expected to reach completion by 2035. There’s still some hard work ahead for the engineers involved: such a system has never been built before, and no one is exactly sure how the wind, waves, and water currents in the fjords might affect the structures.