Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on January 29, 2014 in transportation development reform priorities, the Bohai Strait undersea tunnel research project has been on the agenda again, which combined with a preliminary study on major traffic problems of “Thirteenth Five-Year Plans ".
China will invest 260 billion yuan, or about $42 billion, to revive a long-stalled plan to build the world's longest undersea tunnel across the Bohai Strait linking the country's eastern and northeastern regions, state media said on July 11, 2013. The 123-km (76.4-mile) tunnel will run from the port city of Dalian in northeastern Liaoning province to Yantai city in eastern Shandong.
China announced plans in 1994 to build the tunnel, at a cost of $10 billion, and set to be completed before 2010. But more than 20 years on, the project remains stuck in the planning stage. At the time, state media said the tunnel would shorten the travelling distance between the two regions by 620 miles. The costs could be recouped in 12 years, said Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who estimated annual revenues from the tunnel at around 20 billion yuan.
While the State Council must first review the massive proposal, Wang said work could start as early as 2016 and would take about six years to complete. The tunnel proposal includes 12 comprehensive studies compiled by more than 100 experts over more than two decades. It will be submitted to the State Council with an endorsement from the academy recently.
Japan has the world's longest undersea tunnel. The 54-km Seikan tunnel links Honshu and Hokkaido islands and started operating in 1988 after more than two decades of construction. The Channel tunnel between England and France is about 51 km long.
Translated and edited by Nessy Liu.
Photo from South China Morning Post.