China to build world’s longest tunnel

123km long tunnel to connect two cities in China’s earthquake-prone region

China has announced its plans to build the world’s longest underwater tunnel that will act as a shortcut between two northern port cities in the country.

The scheme involves cars being loaded onto railway carriages, before travelling at 220km/h along the tunnel, which will be 123km long between Dalian in Liaoning province and Yantai in Shandong province, both cities in an earthquake-prone region.

“The underwater tunnel is expected to be completed within the period of the 13th five-year plan (2016 to 2020),” said Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

“The cost will be around $36bn (CNY220bn) and it will be the world’s longest underwater tunnel,” added Wang, who has worked on the plan since 2012, said a report by Gulf News.

The tunnel is expected to surpass the combined length of the world’s two longest tunnels – the Seikan Tunnel in Japan and Channel Tunnel between Britain and France. China’s tunnel is expected to cut travel time between the two cities, which are currently a 1,400km drive apart.

A blueprint for the project is slated for submission to the State Council in April 2014.

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