By Catherine Reid
The world’s first shipping tunnel will be built to help boats navigate the perilous Scandinavian sea.
The Stad Ship Tunnel will be built in Norway to help commercial ships avoid Stadhavet Sea, one of the most exposed and dangerous coastlines in Scandinavia.
The tunnel will be 150ft tall and 118ft wide, costing a whopping £2.3 billion to build.
Work is expected to start early next year and 7.5 million tonnes of rock will be blown apart to make way for it.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration said: “The Stadhavet Sea is the most exposed, most dangerous area along the coast of Norway.
“The aim of this project is to allow ships to navigate more safely through Stad.
“The Kråkenes lighthouse, just south of Stad, is the meteorological weather station with the most stormy days, which can be anything from 45 to 106 days per year.
“The combination of wind, currents and waves around this part of the coastline make this section a particularly demanding part of the Norwegian coast and creates particularly complex and unpredictable navigational conditions.
“Very high waves come from different directions at the same time and can create critical situations.
“The conditions also cause heavy waves to continue for a number of days once the wind has died down.
“This causes difficult sailing conditions even on less windy days.”
They added: “The aim of the project is to improve accessibility and safety for shipping past Stad.
“The final route has been selected because the Stad Peninsula is at its narrowest point here, and at the same time the waters are sufficiently shielded to allow shipping to use the tunnel in the majority of weathers.”
The project will include a pedestrian bridge to allow tourists to watch the huge ships use the tunnel.