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Bering Strait Tunnel

  1. Oct 22, 2011 #1
    It's been up in the air for a while. That is the construction of a tunnel connecting the US and Russia through the Bering Strait. Do you think it will ever happen? Why or why not?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15387714
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2011 #2
    The location of the tunnel way up in a barely inhabited zone of Alaska and the equally sparsely population corner of Russia makes it in my mind impractical. First of all, US citizens would have to travel through a lot of Canada to get there, Canadians would have to go through the US, and, who the heck lives in that part of Russia anyway? I think the demand for travel through the tunnel for recreation will not support the cost of the project.

    Nor do I see commercial use as a practical means, the volume of traffic would have to be quite large, and thus the tunnel would have to be quite large.
     
  4. Oct 22, 2011 #3
    The tunnel wouldn't only carry passengers. See, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=a0bsMii8oKXw [Broken]

    It would have the capacity to carry some 100 million tons of goods and materials. Energy links would be created. And, not only are Russia and America interested in the project. There's Korea, Japan, China, and Canada.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Oct 22, 2011 #4

    Evo

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    I have yet to see any response on the US's part regarding this. It seems the interest Korea, Japan, etc... have is in bidding on the building of the tunnel.

    It seems Russia wants this because it benefits them according to the 4 year old Bloomerg article. I don't see any great benefits to the US.

    I agree with Arcana.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Oct 22, 2011 #5
    Well a couple of benefits that I have read out were mostly reducing energy security concerns and closer ties with Korea, Japan and Russia.
     
  7. Oct 22, 2011 #6

    Evo

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    Can you post a link to that?
     
  8. Oct 22, 2011 #7
    It's in that old link, "The project envisions building high-voltage power lines with a capacity of up to 15 gigawatts to supply the new rail links and also export to North America."

    Including oil and natural gas from Siberia, that figure would likely rise.
     
  9. Oct 22, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    Well, that's just from the Russian's sales pitch "we'll power the tunnel" and then maybe there's something left over. I don't see anything that shows any US interest.
     
  10. Oct 22, 2011 #9
    Umm. It's not like the investment will pay off in one year or so. Any, I find it odd that you just happen not to see any benefits for America. Can you elaborate or at least try and justify your position a little more?
     
  11. Oct 22, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    There are no quantified benefits for the US, only vague isinuations, what actual studies have been presented? Show me studies and actual data. You're asking me to prove that you don't have an invisible purple elephant on top of your head. If you want to claim that there are real benefits to the US, then the onus is on you to furnish the data to back your claims up.
     
  12. Oct 22, 2011 #11

    turbo

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    Then there is the little matter of seismic activity in the region.
     
  13. Oct 22, 2011 #12
    Exactly, it is part of the pacific "ring of fire" where some 80% of all earthquakes occur and 90% of the worst in the world. Including most recently the one in Japan which devastated the country. Even if you completed the tunnel, the roads in Alaska just are not up to that kind of traffic at all and you'd also need to expand thousands of miles of two lane highway all built on permafrost. You'd have a much better chance of attracting investors in a tunnel from the rock of Gibraltar to Africa or any number of other places.
     
  14. Oct 22, 2011 #13

    Astronuc

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    I've been hearing plans for a tunnel or bridge-tunnel combination across the Bering Strait over the last two decades or so, particularly after the Soviet Union broke up. The idea has been around for a century or so, but it comes and goes with the who well the relations between the US and Soviet Union/Russia go.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bering_Strait_crossing

    Report: Tunnel linking US to Russia gains support
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44212283/ns/world_news-europe/

    There is apparently an article in the Times, UK: 30 March, 2008. "Bridgebuilding Vladimir Putin wants tunnel to US". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3646415.ece. (This article is archived and apparently one needs a subscription or registration with the Times.)

    Russia Plans World's Longest Tunnel, a Link to Alaska (Update4)
    By Yuriy Humber and Bradley Cook - April 18, 2007 16:38 EDT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=a0bsMii8oKXw [Broken]

    It was mentioned in the International Railway Journal, Vol 13, July, 1905, p. 28, although it was considered an 'airy' idea. The British Channel tunnel was also mentioned in the same article.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  15. Oct 22, 2011 #14
    Like I said it's all up in the air. And studies would be conducted once there is some agreement on both sides as to the benefit for this undertaking. I just mentioned the idea.
     
  16. Oct 23, 2011 #15
    It's 53 miles, at depths of up to 160 feet. Could it be done? Absolutely! The Chunnel is 250 feet deep. I'd imagine the Bunnel would be upwards of 200 feet deep.

    The question is "why?'

    The Chunnel connects two nearby regions of high commerce and tourism. It makes good economic sense given the heavy traffic, particular as the English Channel is rife with shipping traffic (bridges and heavy shipping - not a good combo).

    The Bunnel would connect pretty much NOTHING, and there's very little shipping to justify a buried solution. Sure, there's a lot of commerce and tourism between our two continents, but given the distances involved, thousands of miles away from the strait itself, commerce is far cheaper by ship, even if there were a railroad currently transiting the Bunnel.

    Heck, we have railroads all over the US, yet it's often cheaper to send something from the Eastern Seaboard to California via ship ala Panama Canal than it would be to send it via rail or road.

    This idea is flawed from the getgo. No corporation would touch it, unless they could hoodwink a government and it's taxpayers that it's a "good idea." Keep your eyes peeled for the hoodwinking infomercials brought to you by corporations wanting your governments to dump your taxpayer dollars into their fat-cat pockets.
     
  17. Oct 23, 2011 #16
    becoming dependent on russia for an energy source seems a little questionable. certainly explains investing in pipelines that aways, tho. and might explain some of that environmental crap about not drilling in alaska, too.

    otoh, if we could buy cheap land in siberia, maybe have a summer dacha there....
     
  18. Oct 23, 2011 #17
    Umm, I seriously doubt the US would become energy dependant on Russia overnight or even after a decade. If anything the US would further diversify its dependency on middle eastern oil.
     
  19. Oct 23, 2011 #18

    Pythagorean

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    bring back the land bridge!
     
  20. Oct 23, 2011 #19

    turbo

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    And great migrations!!!!
     
  21. Oct 23, 2011 #20

    AlephZero

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    Actually it made lousy economic sense, if you look at the return for investors in the project.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurotunnel
     
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