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About this Article
Written by: Sabrina Winarko
Written on: December 7th, 2016
Tags: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, transportation, building & architecture, water
Thumbnail by: Will Heilpern/Weforum
About the Author
Sabrina Winarko is a 21-year-old wanderlust that one-day hopes to vacation in Norway to see the Northern Lights.
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Volume XVIII Issue II > To Float or Not to Float?
Norway is a Northern European country made up of thousands of fjords— expanses of water often surrounded by steep cliffs. For more than a century, the country has been using a combination of road, rail, and ferry crossings to span the trail from southern to northern Norway, a trip that takes over 20 hours by car. Through the implementation of a floating tunnel, the Norwegian transportation authority hopes to cut this travel time in half. The tunnel will utilize Archimedes’ principle to tackle complex engineering and environmental challenges with an innovative twist on modern technology.

Fording a Fjord

Bridges and tunnels are used all over the world to streamline modern transportation. What may seem trivial or commonplace today once required an advanced blend of mathematics and physics from early engineers. A new project has challenged engineers to push the boundaries of modern transportation: the Norwegian floating tunnel (Fig. 1). The National Transport Plan E39 (NTP E39) has the lofty political aim of shortening the commute from southern Norway’s staple harbor town of Kristianstad to the northern town of Trondheim [2]. By car, this journey stretches over 1,100 kilometers and requires near 20 hours to complete [4]. The cumbersome archipelago of Norway’s western coast, which is made up of thousands of fjords of varying sizes, renders the journey impossible without the use of several ferries to complete the journey [1].
Will Heilpern/Weforum
Figu​re 1: Proposed submerged tunnel courtesy of NPRA (Norway Public Roads Administration). Cross section image of proposed submerged tunnel [9].