Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 longest tunnels in the world

St Gotthard Tunnel

Location: Switzerland
Date Completed: 1882 (rail) and 1980 (road)
Length: rail 9.25 miles and road 10.5 miles

The world's longest road tunnel when completed in 1980.

Laerdal Norway

1995.03.15: Start of work
1999.09.03: Break through 10.6 km from Nyheim.
2000.11.27: Opening ceremony at Laerdal portal

From the north portal (Laerdal)of the Laerdal tunnel in November 2000. The first foreigners to cross Laerdal tunnel. The "Laerdal Tour", from Milano (Italy) to Laerdal through Austria, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, by a Renault Espace, was organized by the Italian magazine "Automobilismo". For statistic curiosity, Eugenio A.Merzagora (first on the left) was the first foreign driver through the World's longest road tunnel.

Zhongnanshan Tunnel, or Qinling Zhongnanshan Tunnel

is the longest two-tube road tunnel in the world. It is also the second longest road tunnel in the world. (Following Lærdalstunnelen in Norway) The 18,040 metres long tunnel, crosses under the Zhongnanshan (Zhongnan Mountain) in Shaanxi Province, China. It opened on January 20, 2007, becoming part of the Xi'an-Ankang Highway between the Changan and Zhashui counties. The cost to build this tunnel was 3.2 billion Yuan (US$410 million). The maximum embedded depth of the tunnel is 1640 m.

Arlberg Austria

The Arlberg Road Tunnel with a length of 13,976 metres is Austria's longest road tunnel. It carries the S16 Arlbergschnellstraße (German for "Arlberg Highway") under the Arlberg massif from Tyrol to Vorarlberg.

It was built between July 1974 and December 1978 and its costs amounted to 4 billion Austrian schillings (~300 million €). The tunnel is designed for 1800 vehicles per hour and equipped with 4 ventilation centres (one shaft with a height of 736 metres is the deepest in Europe), 12 vents, 43 cameras for traffic monitoring and 16 niches. In 1998 the tunnel was used by 2.6 million vehicles, where 18 % are accounting for freight transport.

The Hsuehshan Tunnel

"Snow Mountain" tunnel, is the longest tunnel in Taiwan, located on the Taipei-Yilan Freeway (Taiwan National Highway No. 5). It is through the Hsuehshan Mountain Range. The road connects the city of Taipei to the northeastern county of Yilan (Ilan), cutting down the journey time from two hours to just half an hour. One of the key aims of constructing the tunnel was to connect the western coast of Taiwan, where 95% of the population live, to the eastern coast of the island and in doing so tackle the unbalanced development on the island. It is constructed with one pilot tunnel and two main tunnels for eastbound and westbound traffic. The total length is 12.942 km (8.042 mi), making the Hsuehshan Tunnel the second longest road tunnel in East Asia and the fifth longest road tunnel in the world.
The Hsuehshan Tunnel broadcasts a dedicated radio station on two FM channels inside the tunnel. Drivers can tune to either of the two FM stations to hear announcements regarding the Hsuehshan Tunnel, rules for driving inside the tunnel, and music.
As of May 1, 2008, the speed limit has been raised to 80 km/h with a 10 km/h tolerance. At this speed a trip through the 12.9 km tunnel takes 8.6 minutes.

The Fréjus Road Tunnel

The Fréjus Road Tunnel connects Modane, France with Bardonecchia, Italy (on the Lyon-Turin itinerary) under the Col du Fréjus in the Cottian Alps. The tunnel is 13 kilometers (8 miles) long. Construction started in 1974 and it was opened for traffic in 1980. It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes between France and Italy being used for 80% of the commercial roadway traffic. Speed limit is 70 Km/h.
Its entries are, on the French side, near Modane, on the A43 autoroute coming from Chambéry, and, on the Italian side, near Bardonecchia, on the A32 autostrada coming from Turin. Tolls are on both sides.The tunnel was closed for 2 months in 2005 because of a fire which killed 2 lorry drivers.
Near the midpoint is the Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane (also referred to as the Fréjus Underground Laboratory. Attempts are underway to build a larger laboratory, either in the same tunnel or in the even deeper Lyon Turin Ferroviaire 15 km to the east.

The Mont Blanc Tunnel

The Mont Blanc a road tunnel in the Alps under the Mont Blanc mountain, linking Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France and Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes particularly for Italy which relies on the tunnel for transporting as much as one-third of its freight to northern Europe. It reduces the route from France to Turin by 50 km and to Milan by 100 km.

Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the Mont Blanc Tunnel is 11.6 kilometres (7.25 miles) long, 8.6 metres (28.2 ft) wide, and 4.35 metres (14.3 ft) high. The tunnel is not horizontal, but in a slightly inverted "V". Altitude on the French side: 1274 m (4091 ft); Italian side: 1381 m (4530 ft). The tunnel consists of a single gallery with a two-lane dual direction road.Plans to widen the tunnel were never implemented because of lack of financing and fierce opposition of local residents who objected to the harmful effects of increased heavy traffic.

Gudvangen Norway

The tunnel between Aurland and Lærdal is scheduled to open in 2001 on the main road between Bergen and Oslo. At 24.5 kilometres long, it will become the world's longest tunnel. The tunnel currently holding the distinction is the St. Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland, which is "only" 16,9 kilometres. Norway's longest existing tunnel is Gudvangen Tunnel, 11.4 kilometres long.

The Lærdal Tunnel will enable motorists to avoid both landslides and weather-enforced road closures in winter. Since 1940, there have been only eight major accidents in tunnels around the world.

Folgefonn Norway

Folgefonntunnelen or Folgefonn Tunnel is an 11,150 meter long tunnel. It is Norway's third longest highway tunnel. It goes through the mountain under Folgefonna and connects Eitrheim village at the head of the Sørfjord in Odda municipality with Mauranger at the head of the Maurangsfjord in Kvinnherad municipality. Norway's riksvei 551 passes through this tunnel.
The tunnel opened in 2001. A journey which formerly took 4 hours now takes 10 minutes.


Kan-Etsu is the kanji acronym of Kantō and the old Echigo Province comprising modern-day Niigata Prefecture.
Officially, the Kan-Etsu consists of two routes. Both begin in Tokyo and end in Niigata Prefecture. The Kan-Etsu Expressway Niigata Route consists of the entire Kan-Etsu Expressway from Nerima to Nagaoka, as well as the Hokuriku Expressway beyond Nagaoka to its terminus in the city of Niigata. The Kan-Etsu Expressway Jōetsu Route is concurrent with the Niigata Route until Fujioka Junction, where it branches off as the Jōshin-etsu Expressway and traverses Nagano Prefecture to its terminus in Jōetsu, Niigata The remainder of this article will focus on the Niigata Route section between Nerima and Nagaoka.

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