About tunnels and bridges

10 projects of intercontinental bridges and tunnels that are realistic

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Intercontinental bridge and tunnel projects.

The possibility to travel by train from Alaska to Russia or from London to New York entices many people. It may well become possible fairly soon, thanks to a number of proposals for bridges and underwater tunnels that would connect the continents.

1. Bridge over the Strait of Tirana

Bridge over the Strait of Tirana.

This proposed bridge would connect Egypt with Saudi Arabia, and it would have both roads and railroads. Although the exact location of the bridge has not yet been determined, some believe that it will be built between Egypt’s Nabq and Arabia’s Ras Alsheikh Hamid, which are the closest points between the two countries. What is interesting is that the bridge is not supposed to be built in a straight line, but it will “make a detour” through the Saudi island of Tiran. Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud hinted at his intention to build such a bridge during a state visit to Egypt in 2013. It would cost Saudi Arabia $3-4 billion.

2. The Bridge of the Horns

Horn Bridge.

The Horn Bridge is a proposed bridge that will connect Djibouti to Yemen. It is supposed to carry a six-lane road for cars and a railroad for trains. Its design was proposed by Tarek bin Laden, a Saudi businessman who is the half-brother of the infamous Osama. However, the project was criticized because of its cost (the bridge is 28.5 kilometers long and was originally estimated at $ 70 billion), as well as the seismic hazard of the area where it was planned to build. However, preliminary work on the bridge has been completed and further construction is planned, to be financed by Noor City Development Corporation in Dubai (the same company plans to build two cities called Al Nour (City of Light) on both sides of the bridge, an airport and an extensive road network that will lead from Yemen’s Al Nour to the Emirati Dubai. The Horn Bridge is scheduled to open in 2020 and will cost $20 billion to build.

3. tunnel under the Bering Strait

Tunnel under the Bering Strait.

There have already been several proposals to link Siberia to Alaska. The first of these proposals was made in the 1890s, when engineer Joseph Strauss proposed building a railroad between Russia and Alaska. Nicholas II accepted a similar proposal in 1907, but it was not implemented because of the outbreak of World War I. The next time the idea was recalled in 2011, when a 105-kilometer-long underground tunnel under the Bering Strait was proposed. It is planned to create a network of three tunnels: one for travel from Russia to Alaska, the second – for travel from Alaska to Russia, and the third, passing between them, will be reserved for emergencies (it provides connections with other tunnels).

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Each of the two main tunnels would have two railroads, one for high-speed trains and one for slower trains, a two-lane track for cars, pipelines for water, gas, oil, and fiber optic cables. The cost should be about $35 billion and the construction time should be 12 to 15 years.

4. the Sicily-Tunis tunnel

Tunnel Sicily-Tunisia.

This tunnel is to connect mainland Italy to Tunisia via Sicily. The project involves the construction of a 3.3-kilometer bridge that will connect Reggio di Calabria on the Italian mainland with Messina in Sicily. Sicily and Tunisia will then be connected by a network of five underground tunnels. Four of them will carry traffic in both directions, and the fifth will be reserved for emergencies. Researchers from the Italian Alternative Energy Agency have urged the governments of both countries to build four artificial islands between Tunisia and Sicily out of rock removed during tunnel digging. They estimated that the cost of the project would be $28 billion.

5. China-Russia-Canada-America Railroad

China-Russia-Canada-America railway.

The proposed railroad would begin in China, pass through Russia, Alaska and Canada, and end in the continental United States. Russia and Alaska would be connected by a 201-kilometer underwater tunnel under the Bering Strait. China argues that building such a tunnel would not be a problem because the country already has the required technology.

6. The Transatlantic Tunnel

Transatlantic Tunnel.

The Transatlantic Tunnel is a submarine railroad project that would connect New York with London, Paris or Brussels. It was proposed by Ernst Frankel and the late Frank Davidson, who worked on the Eurotunnel under the English Channel (which connects England to France). A transatlantic tunnel is planned to be built below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean and secured above the seabed with spring-loaded cables.

If such a titanic project can be built, it will be used to run super-fast trains powered by magnetic levitation, which will run between London and New York in just four hours. However, the project has been criticized because of its high cost (almost $200 billion), as well as the problems associated with laying a 5,600-kilometer pipe across the ocean. According to the Discovery Channel, the Transatlantic Tunnel will not become a reality anytime soon because the necessary funds and technology will not be available until 2099.

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7. Darien Gap Highway.

Darien Gap Highway.

The Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, is considered the longest road in the world. But in fact, the Pan American Highway is interrupted between North and South America at the border of Panama and Colombia in a jungle called Darien Gap. Previous attempts to build a highway through this place have met resistance from local natives and environmentalists, who argue that the road would destroy the forest. Today, people who travel from one America to another are forced to take a ferry or a plane. One suggestion of how to deal with this problem is to build an underwater tunnel between Panama and Colombia.

8. The Gibraltar Tunnel

The Gibraltar Tunnel.

Proposals to build an underwater tunnel through the Strait of Gibraltar to link Europe with Africa have been around since 1930, when Spanish engineers proposed a 32-kilometer tunnel between Spain and North Africa. Spain and Morocco are currently working on the Gibraltar Tunnel. The closest points of the two countries are only 14 kilometers apart, with one country’s shoreline visible to the other. But the tunnel will not go through this narrowest point in the strait because of the very hard rock under the bottom.

Most likely, it will go from Cape Malabate in Morocco to Punta Paloma in Spain (28 km). The length of the tunnel itself will be 40 km due to the fact that it will be winding. The cost is estimated at 6.5-13 billion euros, and both countries have applied for funding from the European Union. Both countries had previously intended to build the bridge, but abandoned the idea due to concerns that it might not be able to withstand strong winds and currents in the region.

9. Intercontinental Peace Bridge

Intercontinental Bridge of the World.

The Intercontinental Peace Bridge is a planned 88-kilometer bridge that would connect Siberia and Alaska. It was proposed by engineer Ty Lin back during the Cold War. Lin was so serious about building his project that he handed President Ronald Reagan a 16-page pamphlet detailing his plan in 1986. But the project was forgotten until 1994, when the engineer upgraded his plan to include a network of pipelines to transport oil and gas from Russia to North America (which happened after Russia turned its attention to the vast undeveloped fields in Siberia.

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10. The Trans-Global Highway

Trans-Global Highway.

The Trans-Global Highway is a project proposed by Frank Didick that could connect all the continents of the world. In essence, it is not a new highway, but the standardization and connection of existing roads into one network, and the construction of new roads and tunnels where necessary. If the proposal is ever accepted, it will be possible to travel around the world by car. In addition to the roads themselves, the Trans-Global Highway would have pipelines for oil, gas, water and communication cables. Didick believes that the only obstacle to the construction of such a project is the hatred between the various neighboring states, which will refuse to support their neighbors’ road networks.

Bridges and tunnels

Just a selection of photos of bridges. Of course it’s all grandiose, beautiful and far away. I have a dream, the most ordinary one. I want to see the raising of bridges on the Neva.

The Golden Gate Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world from its opening in 1937 until 1964. The total length of the bridge – 2737 meters, the height of the pylons – 227 meters above the water, the weight – 894 500 tons. The height of the roadway above the water surface at high tide is 67 meters. For the first 12 hours after the opening the bridge was accessible only for pedestrians. The next day, at President Roosevelt’s signal from the White House, the first cars drove onto the bridge.

Magdeburg Water Bridge is a water bridge in Germany that connects two important canals: the Elbe-Havel Canal and the Middle German Canal, through which communication with the industrial area, the Ruhr Valley, takes place. The bridge is located 10 km north of Magdeburg city center. On the right bank of the Elbe by the bridge is the village Hohenwarte. The bridge is 918 meters long.

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The Bridge of the Constitution is a bridge in Venice over the Grand Canal, built in 2008 by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. During its construction, the bridge was heavily criticized, its main object being the modernist architecture of the bridge, which did not fit in well with the Venetian architectural ensemble. Protests against the construction of the bridge led authorities to cancel the inauguration, the bridge was opened to pedestrians on September 11, 2008 without any official ceremonies.

The Firth of Forth Bridge is a bridge over the Firth of Forth Bay off the east coast of Scotland. Erected from 1882 to 1890, the bridge was one of the first cantilevered bridges in the world, and for several years had a maximum span length.

“Zhongnanshan is an 18-kilometer automobile tunnel, the longest in China. It was dug through the Qinling mountain range in China’s Shaanxi province. Construction of the tunnel began in 2002 and cost more than $400 million. Inside, Zhongnanshan is decorated with light projections depicting the sky and artificial trees.

The Victoria Falls Bridge is a railroad bridge over the Zambezi River, crossing the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Next to the bridge upstream is one of Africa’s landmarks, Victoria Falls.

Gotthard Base Tunnel is a railway tunnel under construction in Switzerland with a length of 57 km. Construction of the tunnel began in 1993. After the completion of the eastern and western parts in 2011, it became the longest railway tunnel in the world. The tunnel will provide rail traffic through the Alps. After the opening of the tunnel, which is planned for 2017, the travel time from Zurich to Milan will be reduced from 3 hours 40 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes.

The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge structure across the Tarn valley near the town of Millau in southern France. The viaduct has the highest supports in the world, one of them has a height of 341 meters. The roadway of the bridge is located at a height of 270 meters above the ground.

“Eurotunnel” – a double-track railway tunnel, connecting continental Europe with Great Britain by rail. Its length is about 51 kilometers, of which 39 pass under the English Channel. Thanks to the tunnel it became possible to visit London from Paris in just 2 hours and 15 minutes; trains stay in the tunnel itself for 20 to 35 minutes. It was inaugurated on May 6, 1994.

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The Storsesandet Bridge is a bridge in Norway connecting the mainland and the island of Averøy in the province of Møre og Romsdal. The bridge is known for its bizarre curvature, locals call it the “drunken bridge.”

The Russian Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in Vladivostok, connecting the Nazimov Peninsula with Russky Island. Its construction was started on September 3, 2008 as part of the program of preparation of the city for the APEC summit in 2012. The bridge has the highest pylons in the world – 324 meters high. The span between the pylons at the time of the opening was the record length among cable-stayed bridges – 1104 meters.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, which crosses the East River and connects Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City. Its length is 1,825 meters. Construction of the bridge took 13 years and was completed on May 24, 1883. At the time of its opening it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first bridge to use steel rods in its construction.

The Zhivopisny Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge across the Moskva River in the western part of the Russian capital. It was opened on December 27, 2007. The feature of this bridge is an arched pylon structure with a fan arrangement of cables, spanning from one bank of the river to the other, with the bridge crossing the river at an acute angle. In the glass ellipsoid, located under the arch of the bridge, the city plans to open a wedding palace in the future.

Cable-stayed road bridge over the Daugava River in Riga. At the time of its opening in 1981 this bridge was the longest cable-stayed bridge in Europe.

Tower Bridge is a drawbridge in central London over the River Thames near the Tower of London. Opened in 1894. one of the main architectural symbols of London and Britain

Lerdahl Tunnel is an automobile tunnel in Norway, connecting the cities of Lerdahl and Eurlann, located on the highway from Oslo to Bergen. 24.5 -km tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world.

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