Swiss Tunnel Empties Resident’s Pockets, Saves a Mountain

Travel News — By spencerspellman on October 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

After years of digging, a new tunnel in the Swiss Alps has finally been completed, making it the longest in the world. So just how long is the world’s longest tunnel? When the actual infrastructure of the tunnel is finished, it will measuring at 35.4 miles. The longest operating tunnel currently is in Japan, connecting the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, at a length of 31.35 miles.

As you can imagine, creating the world’s longest tunnel is nothing short of a mighty undertaking. As the Daily Mail reports, engineers began digging 14 years ago, and it won’t actually be open for another seven years. Once complete, it will serve as a gateway for transporting goods and passengers. The tunnel will shave an hour off travel to and from Italy; the intention of building it was to take heavy cargo vehicles off the windy roads and preserve the landscape of the Alps.

As the Daily Mail reports, though preserving the Alps and saving time, it hasn’t been been well-received by everyone, as it will require voters to pay over $1,200 to fund the project. However, despite some opposition, Swiss residents saw it as a chance to preserve their beloved Alpine mountains. The hopes are that by taking large cargo trucks off the road, it will cut down on the erosion and destruction of plant and animal life around the mountains.

[Photo courtesy of Rachel the Cat]

Tags: italy, longest tunnel, swiss, swiss alps, train, tunnel

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