Do you know the longest tunnels in the world? Tunnels are structural and architectural masterpieces of civil engineering and creative ingenuity.
One interesting thing to note is that tunnels can either be formed naturally through erosion, earthquakes and other tectonic activities or created by works of men.
Tunnels are structures that allow and facilitate transportation. These new channels and routes often provide an alternative route when moving from one place to another.
On a global scale, there are hundreds of thousands of tunnel networks that connect to various other transport channels as well as places.
There are different tunnels that serve different purposes, for example, there are mining tunnels that allow resource miners to explore underground natural resource, there are also railway tunnels that serve as subways and train routes in a bid to not disrupt road travel.
Also, car tunnels are usually built by burrowing through large hills and rocks that could serve as a blockade for transport, allowing human transportation to continue without any hindrance.
In this article, we shall cross examine some interesting tunnels around the world.
More precisely, we will consider the top ten longest manmade tunnels all around the world, we would also learn about the stories behind these pieces of engineering marvel.
Top 10 Longest Tunnels In The World
1. Lærdal Tunnel
Laerdal tunnel is the world’s longest road tunnel, with a length of over 25km, that is approximately 15miles for our readers in the US.
This tunnel that can be found in the Vestland County in Norway, and it is responsible for the connection of the Aurland and Lærdal counties. The twenty-one (21) year old tunnel took five years to be fully constructed.
This tunnel usurped 113 million USD in its construction alone and has required little to no maintenance; money well spent.
The tunnel records an average of 2,050 road vehicles transiting through it every single day.
2. Yamate Tunnel
Originally designed to be an express way, the Idea for a tunnel that connects Tokyo to Shinagawa in Japan was later approved in the year 2004, after decades or protests against the pre-proposed expressway.
This was how the Yamate Tunnel came to be. Spanning a length of 18.2km, the tunnel became the longest tunnel in Japan for road transport and is only second to the Norwegian Lærdal Tunnel, when ranking it on a global scale, placing this 2nd on our list.
In spite of its length, the tunnel has various built-in features, like telephones, cameras, fire extinguishers and even infrared sensors, making it one of the safest tunnels in the world today.
3. Zongnanshan Tunnel
Of course, China; the lords of civil construction, cannot be out-done on this list. Coming is at 3rd place is none other than the Great Zongnanshan Tunnel, located in the Shaanxi Province in China.
It stretches for 18.04km, across the plains and hills of the Shaanxi region. The tunnel which cost 414million USD to build in 2002, was finally opened for use in 2007.
It still stands and functions well, due to the careful maintenance carried out by the government periodically.
4. Jinpingshan Tunnel
Get ready reader, you are going to come across many Chinese tunnels as you read this list. The tunnel which is located in Sichuan, China, connects the two Jinping Hydro Power stations.
It is 17.54km, in other words, it is 10.9miles long.
5. St. Gotthard Road Tunnel
The Swiss tunnel was considered the world’s longest tunnel prior to the constructions of the four aforementioned tunnel.
Located in Switzerland, the tunnel which was built in 1980 is 16.9km long as it is the 5th longest tunnel worldwide.
6. Tiantaishan Tunnel
China makes it back on our list as the sixth-longest tunnel in the world.
Just like the third-longest tunnel in the world, Tiantaishan tunnel is also located deep in the Shaanxi province in China.
It is 15.56km in length and is the newest tunnel on this list, being constructed just earlier this year.
7. Ryfylke Tunnel
8. Mount Ovit Tunnel
This highway road tunnel burrows through the popular Mount Ovits in Turkey. Stretching right through the Mountain for 14.346km, the tunnel makes it into the top ten list for its length.
Found in the North eastern region of the country, the tunnel was built to allow people at the other end of the mountain to gain access to the red sea.
Work commenced on the construction of the tunnel back in May of 2012 and it was approved for used and officially opened six years later on June, 2018.
It has become one of the country’s national heritage since then.
9. The Alberg Road Tunnel
This is Austria’s longest Tunnel for road transportation. As of 1974 when it was constructed, it was the longest road tunnel.
Since then, it has dropped to no.9, after the creation of the tunnels mentioned above. In spite of its seemingly past glory, the Alberg road tunnel continues to stand firm till this day.
Its 13.972km length solidifies its position on our list as the ninth longest road Tunnel in the world.
10. Micangshan Tunnel
You guessed it, China is back with another construction Engineering marvel. Ranked tenth longest in the whole world, the 13.833km long road channel is found in the Sichuan province of the country as well.
It is made out of double tubes and was commissioned in 2018, and while it might not be as long as its other Chinese counterparts, it costs just as much to construct.