Tunnel dream: Undersea project would link Alaska, Russia

story.tunnel.ap.jpgFor more than a century, entrepreneurs and engineers have dreamed of building a tunnel connecting the eastern and western hemispheres under the Bering Strait — only to be brought up short by war, revolution and politics.

Now die-hard supporters are renewing their push for the audacious plan — a $65 billion highway project that would link two of the world’s most inhospitable regions by burrowing under a stretch of water connecting the Pacific with the Arctic Ocean.

The proposed 68-mile tunnel would be the longest in the world. It would also be the linchpin for a 3,700-mile railroad line stretching from Yakutsk — the capital of a gold- and mineral-rich Siberian region roughly the size of India — through extreme northeastern Russia, in waters up to 180 feet deep and into the western coast of Alaska. Winter temperatures there routinely hit minus 94 F.

A Russian Economics Ministry official tossed cold water on the idea, saying he wanted to know who planned to pay the mammoth bill for the project before seriously discussing it.

Source:  Associated Press

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