by Flemming Funch
Russia plans to build a $65 billion tunnel under the Bering Strait to Alaska. Cool, finally I'll be able to drive to California, even though it will be a bit long. CNN:
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. (Map)
Russia's last czar, Nicholas II, approved a similar plan already more than 100 years ago. Hopefully it works out this time.
By comparison, the undersea tunnel that is now the world's longest -- the Chunnel, linking Britain and France -- is only 30 miles long.
That raises the prospect of some tantalizingly exotic routes -- train riders could catch the London-Moscow-Washington express, conference organizers suggested.
Lobbyists claimed the project is guaranteed to turn a profit after 30 years. As crews construct the road and rail link, they said, the workers would also build oil and gas pipelines and lay electricity and fiber-optic cables. Trains would whisk cargos at up to 60 mph 260 feet beneath the seabed.
Eventually, 3 percent of the world's cargo could move along the route, organizers hope