Dating back to the first successful construction of a tunnel below a navigable water way with the Brunel tunnel built under the Thames River in London, England, 1841, tunnels have played an extremely important role in keeping societies moving.
Although we sometimes overlook them, rail, road and various other types of tunnels are integral in linking modern societies by facilitating commerce and travel between two points separated by mountains, rivers and other natural impediments.
Samsung C&T is no stranger to tunneling, having successfully completed several challenging tunnel projects, including Singapore’s first undersea tunnel on the Marina Coastal Expressway project, and Korea’s longest tunnel, Gajisan Tunnel, in the southern area of the country.
Keep reading below to check out six fascinating tunnel projects that the C&T Newsroom team is sure you will enjoy.
#1 – Yerba Buena Island Tunnel, California, USA
In order to cross the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, travelers must pass through the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel. Completed in 1936, the tunnel remains the largest ‘single-bore’ tunnel in the world, featuring a width of 23 meters, a height of 18 meters and a total length measuring 160 meters. To handle the high traffic levels that navigate across the bridge each day, the tunnel sports two separate decks, each with 5 lanes of traffic.
#2 – Lærdal Tunnel, Norway
At 24.51km long, the Lærda Tunnel road tunnel is the longest of its kind in the world. Its two lanes of traffic cut through a mountain range that rises between the cities of Bergen and Oslo, which provides a much faster and safer route for motorists – especially during the snowy winter months. The tunnel is also known for beautiful colors that radiate from the tunnel’s walls, which are actually a safety feature to help keep drivers alert during the 20-minute trip.
#3 – Undersea tunnel, Marina Coastal Expressway, Singapore
Built by Samsung C&T and considered by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as Singapore’s ‘toughest tunneling project ever’ the award-winning tunnel features a total of 10 lanes of traffic and carries approximately 20, 000 vehicles per hour. The tunnel is an impressive display of modern engineering as it burrows through recently reclaimed land, then under the sea, and back through reclaimed land again.
#4 – Channel Tunnel, United Kingdom & France
Commonly referred to as ‘the Chunnel’, the Channel Tunnel is the world’s longest undersea tunnel, which spends 37 of its 50 kilometers beneath the English Channel to connect Folkestone, Kent, England with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, France in just 30 minutes. Uniquely, the tunnel carries both high-speed Eurostar passenger trains as well as Eurotunnel Shuttle trains for motorists to bring their cars across. In 2014, the tunnel saw the first ever cyclist traverse its corridors with 4-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome complete the historic ride in 55 minutes – only narrowly losing out to the train!
#5 – Sheikh Zayed Tunnel, Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Samsung C&T built Sheikh Zayed Tunnel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is the only tunnel in the world with an eight-lane road being built right on top of an identical eight-lane road running through a tunnel directly below. The project, which cuts straight under the city’s commercial district, was Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale underground civil engineering project and is part of the city’s ambitious ‘Plan Abu Dhabi 2030’.
#6 – Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel that opened in 2016 after nearly 2 decades of work! At 57km long, the twin-bore tunnel provides a high-speed rail link between northern and southern Europe that runs underneath the Swiss Alps. At its deepest point, the tunnel runs some 2.3km under the mountains above it.