Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sweden's longest road tunnel

has been proposed by the Swedish Road Administration.

Building a road system in any city built on 24 000 islands has to be a challenge. Throw a whole lot of green space into the equation, along with nature reserves, forests and lakes and you have a planner's nightmare. Add to that local residents who subscribe to NIMBY (not in my backyard) and any planner would struggle to make sense of the situation.

Well that is exactly the situation we have here in Stockholm, which is why it has taken Vägverket so long to come up with a solution that will keep everyone happy. On the other hand no one wants to see a continuation of the traffic chaos we have today and some of the busiest intersections would see a drastic reduction in traffic once a solution was put in place.

It was recently reported in the Swedish SvD that Vägverket propose to build the longest tunnel in Sweden - a 16 kilometre tunnel from Kungens kurva to Hjulsta. With a speed limit of 90 km/h it would take a mere 11 minutes from one end to the other - that is from one side of the city to the other! The tunnel would not only protect the recreational areas Lovön and Grimsta Forest but also Lake Mälaren - going 60 metres under the surface of the water, straight through the bedrock. It is estimated to take 8 years to complete.

The proposal is now with the government, awaiting feedback. The group Save Grimsta Forest apparently consider the proposal a victory.

Sweden is not stranger to tunnels with the metro system weaving its way deep beneath the surface of the earth. This proposal does however put tunnel building into a new era in this country with the longest so far being Södra Länken, a mere 3.9km. Our Norwegian neighbours on the other hand have plenty of experience, with their longest tunnel being 25km.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Nic for the posting. I took the liberty to copy your posting and pasted it on my blog :) Just trying to educate my fellow Houstonians that tunnels can be constructed in Texas. :)