Added on: 29th Oct 2014
THAMES TUNNEL, LONDON.
This was the first tunnel going under a body of water
and it was the first time the shield tunnelling concept was used.
The tunnelling shield was a device developed by
Sir Marc Isambard Brunel that acts as a temporary
support structure, allowing construction crews to safely
and dryly install permanent support systems underwater.
Building the Thames Tunnel was such a novelty in
the early 19th century that visitors would pay to walk inside
the construction site, and Brunel even hosted concerts
and banquets inside the unfinished structure.
When the tunnel was completed in 1843,
Queen Victoria knighted Brunel for his world-changing
contribution to engineering.
SEIKAN TUNNEL, HONSHU, JAPAN.
At 787 feet below sea level, the Seikan Tunnel is the
deepest tunnel in the world.
The region's unpredictable geology and its volcanic rock
prevented engineers from using boring machines,
forcing them to blast and dig their way under the Tsugaru Strait.
EISENHOWER-JOHNSON MEMORIAL TUNNEL.
There's a lot that makes the Eisenhower Tunnel stand out,
such as its 11,158-foot elevation, which makes it one of the
highest tunnels in the world, as well as the fact that it's the
longest mountain tunnel in the U.S. interstate system.
Adding to the structure's mystique is that it cuts under the
Continental Divide, the point at which bodies of water that drain
into the Pacific are divided from the bodies of water that
drain into the Atlantic.
LAERDAL TUNNEL, SOGN OG FJORDANE, NORWAY.
Laerdal Tunnel, which stretches under Norway's mountainous
and fjord-filled terrain for 15 miles, making it the longest
completed road tunnel in the world.
The tunnel is divided into several different sections,
breaking up the drive and creating the impression that
commuters are traveling through a handful of smaller tunnels.
CHANNEL TUNNEL, COQUELLES, FRANCE.
Commonly known as the Chunnel, this structure links England
and France and was completed in 1994.
The advent of modern boring machines and the
indisputable economic benefit of joining the two countries
helped bring the concept to fruition, resulting in one of the
most impressive demonstrations of engineering prowess of all time.
ZION-MOUNT CARMEL TUNNEL, ZION CANYON, UTAH.
This scenic structure is between Utah's Mount Zion National Park
and Bryce Canyon National Park. Construction dates back to
the formative years of the U.S. National Park Service and a
dedication ceremony opened the tunnel to traffic on July 4, 1930.
A series of windows carved though the tunnel's side
open up breath taking views for drivers.
YERBA BUENA ISLAND TUNNEL,
BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA.
Yerba Buena Island is a small chunk of land resting in the
San Francisco Bay, between Oakland and San Francisco.
A cantilevered bridge flanks this five-lane tunnel on one side,
with a double suspension bridge on the other.
With a 76-foot diameter, Yerba Buena Island Tunnel is the
world's widest single-bore tunnel, an impressive feat considering
it opened in November of 1936.
INFILTRATION TUNNELS, 38TH PARALLEL DMZ
Three different tunnels were discovered creeping under
Korea's Demilitarized Zone, one of the most contentious
borders in the world, throughout the 1970s. All of them
appeared to originate in North Korea, and later, in 1990,
a fourth tunnel was discovered.
The Third Invasion Tunnel, also referred to as the
Third Tunnel of Aggression, came within 26 miles of Seoul,
South Korea's capital city. Clandestine, underground
routes provide North Korea the means to launch a massive
military offensive, and, as the tunnels were large enough to
shuttle through an entire military division per hour.
GlobalSecurity.org estimates that as many as 20 tunnels encroach
on the DMZ; a frightening number given the precarious relationship
between North and South Korea.