Russia has unveiled an ambitious plan to build the world’s longest tunnel under the Bering Strait as part of a transport corridor linking Europe and America via Siberia and Alaska.
The 64-mile (103km) tunnel would connect the far east of Russia with Alaska, opening up the prospect of the ultimate rail trip across three quarters of the globe from London to New York. The link would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France.
The $65 billion (£33 billion) mega-project aims to transform trade links between Russia and its former Cold War enemies across some of the world’s most desolate terrain. It would create a high-speed railway line, energy links and a fibreoptic cable network.
The high speed railway and tunnel will be a private public partnership whose economic impact could be startling. 100 million tons of freight could be moved per year using the most efficient known way of transport. Proposed tidal energy plants could provide 10 gigawatts of energy and a string of wind power fields could churn a constant supply of clean energy, serving as a vital link to a worldwide energy grid. The tunnel alone would take fifteen years to complete — and an energy and railway network would take many more — but the project would significantly change the shipping and energy industry.
There have been several proposals made by various persons, TV-channels, magazines, etc. The names used for such bridges have included The Intercontinental Peace Bridge and Eurasia-America Transport Link. Tunnel names have included TKM-World Link and AmerAsian Peace Tunnel. In April 2007, Russian government officials told the press that the Russian government will back a $65 billion plan by a consortium of companies to build a Bering Strait tunnel. On 22 August 2011, the Daily Mail reported that the Russian government had approved a £60bn tunnel across the Bering Strait. The £60bn comes from a rough Russian estimate of $100bn.