The rugged west coast of Norway is home to waterfalls, glaciers, and fjords that draw travelers each summer. However, navigating the extreme topography of the area, which is home to one-third of the population of the country, is not easy.
Driving the 700 miles along the coastal route from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim takes around 21 hours and requires 7 ferry crossings. To cut time in half, Norwegian Public Roads Administration launched a nearly US$40 billion transportation project which will include the longest floating bridge in the world, and perhaps a first-of-the-kind floating underwater traffic tunnel.
Government officials said that replacing the ferries would make it more convenient for all travelers and also help people in the area look farther afield for jobs and this way boost the local economy.
The solution of the government is to build a bridge that will be floating on pontoons connected to the fjord's silted seabed via suction anchors. Norway, the US, Belarus, Poland, and other countries use floating bridges. Another fjord, the 1,300-feet deep Sulafjorden, poses a similar challenge. A possible solution is something never constructed before: a submerged, floating traffic tunnel.