Courtesy: Kystverket/Norwegian Coastal Administration

Norway has become a country of "firsts" in the world of transportation, implementing measures such as banning gas-powered cars and boycotting cars from entering the capital's city center. Now, the nation has its sights set on the sea with a multi-million dollar plan that would help ships avoid the treacherous stretch of Norway's coastline.

Earlier this month, the Scandinavian nation unveiled its plans to build the world's first tunnel for ships, which involves blasting a mile long passageway through the rocky Stad peninsula. With a price tag of about $312 million (US), the underground shortcut would allow freight and passenger ships to avoid the rough winds and waters of the Stadhavet Sea. It's the most exposed and dangerous area along the coast of Norway with anywhere from 45 to 106 stormy days per year.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), the agency in charge of the project, anticipates it will take three to four years to build. That includes removing eight million tons of solid rock to clear the mile-long, 118-foot-wide bypass. Construction could begin as soon as 2019 and open for ships by 2023, if everything goes according to plan.

Once construction begins, crews will drill from both sides of the mountain with thresholds put in place to prevent the water from entering during drilling. Once complete, both ends of the tunnel will be fitted with concrete blocks and rubber bumpers to withstand any impact from oncoming traffic. To avoid any close encounters between two boats, lights will be installed in the tunnel to indicate when it is safe to pass.

When all is said and done, it's estimated that five ships will be able to pass through the tunnel every hour. That's nearly 100 ships a day that will be provided with a safer yet quicker means of travel, saving not only time but money.

To address structural and efficiency concerns during construction, MadgeTech offers data loggers compatible with bridge strain or civil engineering solutions to monitor the safety of new or pre-existing structures. To view all of the data logging solutions specifically designed for bridge and strain applications, click here.

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