New tunnel on the Ring Road near St. Petersburg
New tunnel on the Ring Road near St. Petersburg. New tunnel on the Ring Road near St. Petersburg.
In mid-August, two such tunnels, with three-lane traffic in each, were launched immediately under Peter. Their length is 950 m, and a 16-meter water column splashes over the head of the autotravelers. A solid reinforced concrete slab 4 m thick protects against it. The tunnels finally made it possible to close the bypass road (KAD) around the Northern capital. But this is not the only such building in the city.
Since 1983, motorists have been using the Gunner Tunnel connecting the Gutuevsky and Gunner Islands. It is only slightly (26 m) shorter than the new one and has one lane in each direction. But technologically this is a completely different structure. They didn’t dig it in the ground under water, but simply lowered a pipe consisting of prefabricated sections (each 75 m long and weighing about 8000 tons!) To the bottom, and then pumped water out of it.
Before embarking on an underwater journey through the most interesting tunnels in the world, we will mention one more building that Muscovites have long known: a small tunnel on the Volokolamsk Highway under the shipping channel.
Long tunnels cause some drivers the so-called tunnel syndrome, akin to the fear of confined space - claustrophobia. Sometimes this even leads to loss of control over the car. But more often it is necessary to observe another phenomenon: due to distortion of the visible perspective in the pipe, drivers forget … to add gas on the rise and begin to slow down the entire flow. In the new Hamburg tunnel under the Elbe, such “brakes” are brought to life by a loud voice from the speakers: “Attention, the police say! Please go faster, you are slowing down!”
TUNNELS OF THE WORLD
Old tunnel under the Elbe
Old tunnel under the Elbe Old tunnel under the Elbe
The old tunnel under the Elbe was built in Hamburg in 1911 and is still open for traffic, although due to its peculiarities it cannot pass any intense flow. The fact is that it is not the descent that leads to its pipes, but the elevators with a lifting capacity of 10 tons!
Old tunnel elevators
Lifts of the old tunnel Lifts of the old tunnel
The car drives into the elevator car, descends to the tunnel itself, and at the end it rises in the same way to the light of day. The tunnel was initially paid, and prices were determined very flexibly: separately for cars, horses, donkeys and even … dogs.
The length of the tunnel is 426.5 m, it is dug at a depth of about 3 m under the channel. The height of each “pipe” is as much as 6 m: the carriages used to be high, and the coachman also held a long whip vertically. With a width worse: a modern passenger car literally runs through this tunnel. But what an adventure!
Tunnel near Elba
Tunnel near Elba Tunnel near Elba
The construction near Elba was opened not far from the old one in 1975. With a length of 3325 m, the tunnel has become one of the longest in the world. True, only 1, 056 m were laid under the water itself, the rest falls on the descent and ascent (this is what they used to save on before). The structure allows up to 120, 000 cars to pass per day. Moreover, the movement in the lanes is reversible, taking into account the prevailing flow.
Initially, the tunnel consisted of three two-way pipes, now there are already four of them. During the Cold War, traps for Soviet tanks were mounted here. At the press of a button, an explosion should have occurred and blocks of 107 tons each would block the passage. But do not be afraid: in 2000, explosives were seized as unnecessary.
Cross Harbor Tunnel
Cross Harbor Tunnel Cross Harbor Tunnel
The Hong Kong Cross Harbor Tunnel opened in 1972 and connected the islands of Hong Kong and Kovlon. It is notable for its length or depth, but one of the most intense traffic flows in the world. The tunnel was built by dipping pipes to the bottom.
The length is small, only 1860 m, and they saved on the number of pipes (there are only two). It turned out a total of four lanes, which are always densely packed with cars. However, in the distant seventies they could not have foreseen …
Danish tunnel Drogden
Danish tunnel Drogden Danish tunnel Drogden
The Danish 4050-meter-long Drogden tunnel passes cars and trains from Copenganen to Malmo (this is Sweden) and back under the Öresund Strait. It is part of a single structure with a bridge. Under the main span of the bridge there is a “gap” 57 meters high for passing ships, but the latter prefer to sail not under, but over cars.
The bridge and tunnel are docked on the artificial island of Peberholm (translated - Pepper Island). The Danes did not think about the name for a long time - after all, the neighboring island is called Saltholm, that is, Sol Island … Drogden consists of 20 reinforced concrete segments weighing 55, 000 tons each, laid in a channel dug at the bottom. Despite the enormous weight, these hollow blocks could have surfaced, if not for a layer of stones poured on top of one and a half meters. They protect cars and trains from ships with too much (over 10 m) draft.
Tokyo Aqua Line Tunnel
Tokyo Aqua Line Tunnel Tokyo Aqua Line Tunnel
The Tokyo Aqua Line Tunnel is part of a combined structure of the tunnel itself (9.6 km) and the bridge (4.4 km). It connects the cities of Kawasaki and Kizarazu, being the fourth longest underwater tunnel in the world. The construction was opened at the end of 1997 and immediately reduced the distance between points A and B by 100 km.
At the transition from the bridge to the tunnel, the artificial island of Umihotaru is poured. You can stop at it and gather your courage before diving (or celebrate going out into the white light) in several restaurants, buy souvenirs in shops. And on one island above the tunnel, the original Wind Tower is located, which uses the energy of air flows to supply electricity.
Aixund Tunnel in Norway
Aiksunn tunnel in Norway Aiksund tunnel in Norway