Tunnel Visions; July 1997; Scientific American Magazine; by Stix; 1 Page(s)
In the late 1800s Sir Edward James Reed, a member of the British Parliament from Cardiff, proposed the idea for "tubes" that would let trains traverse the English Channel from Dover to Calais. His plan envisaged a tunnel suspended on top of caissons placed at regular intervals along the crossing. This concept did not gain support among Reed¿s fellow members of Parliament-- a tunnel, after all, could provide a route for an invasion of the British Isles.
More than a century later similar ideas may be finally tested in less turbulent waters. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will propose to the nation¿s parliament later this year a 1,400-meter-long tunnel that would float 25 meters below the surface of the 155-meter-deep H¿gsfjord near the western city of Stavanger. The tunnel, apparently the first of its kind anywhere, would replace a ferry crossing with a two-lane automobile conduit and a bicycle- pedestrian path.