China’s longest underwater highway tunnel is now open to vehicle traffic after nearly four years of construction.
The Taihu tunnel is 10.79 kilometers (6.65 miles) long and runs beneath Lake Taihu in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, about 50 kilometers east of Shanghai.
According to Jiangsu government officials, the tunnel cost 9.9 billion yuan (approximately $1.56 billion). On January 9, 2018, construction began.
The tunnel is part of the Changzhou-Wuxi Highway, which will be open to the public on December 30, 2021. It serves as an alternate expressway between Shanghai and Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu.
It was built to relieve traffic congestion in the cities near Lake Taihu while also promoting the economic development of the cities in the Yangtze River Delta area. It connects the expressways of Suzhou, Wuxi, and Changzhou.
So, how does the Taihu tunnel compare to others around the world? Norway’s 14.3-kilometer twin-road Ryfast tunnel, which connects the cities of Stavanger and Strand, is the world’s longest under construction highway tunnel.
The underwater tunnel portion of the 9.6-kilometer-long Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, a vehicle highway that runs beneath Tokyo Bay.
However, in terms of underwater tunnels in general, the Channel Tunnel, which connects England and France by rail, takes first place. Its submerged portion is 37.9 kilometers long, making it the world’s longest underwater tunnel.