China to Build World’s Longest Underwater Tunnel by 2026

In an ambitious plan that will boost its infrastructure prowess, China plans to construct an underwater tunnel that will be the longest in the world. The tunnel that will run under the Bohai Sea, is planned for completion in 2026. The team behind this massive project will likely submit its blueprint to China’s State Council by April 2014.

Once the project is approved, authorities expect work on the tunnel to begin by 2015 or 2016. Wang Mengshu, who works at the Chinese Academy of Engineering as a railway and tunnel expert, has been working on this plan since 2012. He said that the cost of the project would likely be w whopping USD 36 billion.

However, the major challenge in the preliminary stages would be the completion and approval of the feasibility report. This could take up to three years, according to Wang.

The tunnel will run along a distance of 123-km underwater and will comprise a railway line that will connect two important Chinese port cities of Dalian and Yantai. While the former lies in the Liaoning province, the latter is in the Shandong province. The planned life span of this tunnel will be close to 100 years, according to experts working on the project.

The length of this new tunnel will be more than the combined length of two of the world’s longest tunnels that run underwater. These are the Channel Tunnel that runs between France and Britain, and the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.

When the tunnel becomes operational, it will cut travelling time between Yantai and Dalian to a mere 40-minute journey. Currently, travel between these cities entails a 1,400 km drive or an eight-hour journey by ferry.

Trains travelling at the speed of 220 km/hour via this tunnel can also be loaded with passenger vehicles.


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