A 64-mile-long tunnel beneath the Bering Sea might be more torturous than relaxing for the more claustrophobic of road-trippers, but a proposed tunnel from Russia to Alaska might open the possibility.
The Russian government has apparently given the green light on a new tunnel project that would double the length of the England-to-France Channel Tunnel and connect Siberia with Alaska. If completed, the $65 billion project would be the longest underwater tunnel in the world.
The bad news for possible commuters between Uelen, Russia and Nome, Alaska is that the tunnel would strictly be a high-speed rail line that could move up to 100 million tons of freight per year.
In addition to transforming the shipping industry, the tunnel could eventually provide an efficient transmission route for clean energy developed by tidal energy stations and wind plants in Russia to the worldwide energy grid. In addition, the rail system would complete a high-speed network that could stretch around the world from London to New York City.
The real draw, though, for me at least, is the possibility of traffic passing through the tunnel. A tunnel connecting the United States to Europe opens the possibility of crazy after-college road trips to Moscow. Imagine leaving Seattle, driving almost 3,000 miles to Nome, Alaska, catching the tunnel to Uelen and then making the 6,000-mile jaunt across Siberia to Moscow and maybe even continuing on another 1,400 miles to Rome, Italy.
Or starting in London with the goal of driving to New York City.
That, my friends, would be the trip of a lifetime. Crazy, expensive, time-consuming and maybe even life-threatening, but amazingly cool.
Should Russia build a tunnel connecting it to the U.S.?