The Norwegian Coastal Administration has formally announced that construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel is part of the Norwegian National Transport Plan for the period 2018 to 2029.
The tunnel will be the world's first full-scale ship tunnel, and it is anticipated to ensure safe passenger and cargo ship voyages in the Stadhavet Sea, the most exposed and dangerous part of the Norwegian coast.
Construction is estimated to cost NOK 2.7 billion ($314 million). Funding of NOK 1.5 billion ($175 million) is included in the first six years of the plan.
“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,” says project manager, Terje Andreassen.
Vessels using the tunnel will be able to be up to 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) wide, giving them a clearance of 2.5 meters (eight feet) on each side. For safety purposes, the distance between passing vessels will probably be 400 meters (1,300 feet). This means five ships will be able to sail through per hour.
The speed limit will likely be eight knots for speed boats, equating to a ten-minute voyage through the tunnel. Other vessels will most likely have to hold five knots.
It will not be possible for people to walk through the tunnel. On each side, there will be a 3.5-meter (11.5-foot) wide structure to prevent the bridge wing from touching the tunnel walls and to act as an emergency exit in case of evacuation.
Length: 1,700 meters.
Height between ground and ceiling: 49 meters.
Width between tunnel walls: 36 meters.
Cross-sectional area: 1,625 square meters.
Volume of solid rock to be removed: Approximately three million cubic meters. Equivalent to approximately eight million tons of blasted rock.
Construction time: Approximately three to four years.