China is set to construct the world’s longest underwater tunnel, which will connect two of its northern port cities in an earthquake-prone region, an expert involved in the project says.
Under the USD36 billion project, a 123-kilometre tunnel will be built as a shortcut between Dalian in Liaoning Province and Yantai in Shandong Province.
“The underwater tunnel is expected to be completed within the period of the 13th five-year plan (2016 to 2020),” Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said on Friday.
“The cost will be around 220 billion yuan and it will be the world’s longest underwater tunnel,” added Wang, who has worked on the plan since 2012.
According to a Friday report in the China Daily, a blueprint for the project is expected to be submitted to the State Council in April.
Wang said that journey time between the two cities, which are currently separated by a 1,400-kilometer drive, would be reduced to 40 minutes after the tunnel is completed.
The tunnel would exceed the combined length of the two longest tunnels in the world, which are Japan’s Seikan Tunnel linking Honshu and Hokkaido and the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France.
The China Daily said that the mammoth project would see the construction of three tunnels in total at least 30 meters below the sea bed, two about 10 meters in diameter, and a third between them for maintenance and emergency vehicles.
China has developed its transport infrastructure rapidly over the past several years.
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