Monday, December 21, 2020

Underwater tunnels revolutionize the Faroes

An incredible underwater roundabout is set to open in the remote Faroe Islands.
The Eysturoyar tunnel network is almost 7 miles long and runs beneath Skálafjørður fjord, connecting the islands of Streymoy and Eysturoy.
The tunnel network and its undersea roundabout will significantly cut journey times to the Faroe Islands’ capital Torshavn from many locations, according to contractor NCC.
The tunnel, for example, will shorten the journey time from Torshavn and the village of Runavik from just over 34 miles to 10.5 miles, according to Estunlar, which is overseeing the project.
The lowest point of the tunnel is 613.5 feet below sea level.
Work on the tunnel began in 2016.
"The Eysturoy tunnel is planned to open the 19 of December 2020," Teitur Samuelsen, CEO of Estunlar, told Fox News, via email.
"It has a spectacular roundabout under the Atlantic Ocean. It will be decorated by the famous Faroese artist Trondur Patursson, with a ring of people dancing the traditional Faroese dance."
The stunning underwater traffic circle has been attracting plenty of attention on social media.
“The first roundabout under the Atlantic Ocean is a reality,” tweeted Kristina Hafoss, a member of the Faroe Islands Parliament.
“This is part of our new 11 km sub-sea tunnel connecting 2 of our 18 #FaroeIslands in a new & innovative way.”
“Not a new lair for Dr Evil but a new 6.8 mile underwater tunnel network with roundabout connecting two of the Faroe Islands, Streymoy & Eysturoy!” tweeted Wallasey Yacht Club in the U.K.
In another project, construction is also underway on the Sandoyar tunnel, which will be almost as long as the Eysturoyar tunnel when it is completed in 2023.
The two tunnels are the largest infrastructure investment in Faroe Islands history, according to NCC. Located in the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation within the kingdom of Denmark.
From CNN 

Underneath the North Atlantic Ocean lies a series of sub-aquatic tunnels, connecting the rugged islands that comprise the northerly Faroe Islands archipelago.

Localization with theGeoGarage platform (DGA nautical raster chart)

 The soon to be opened Eysturoy tunnel network has already caused a splash, thanks to newly released photos of its center point -- a striking new underwater traffic circle: illuminated, turquoise-blue and some 187 meters under the sea.

The lights, colors and ethereal design makes the structure look otherworldly.
The 11-kilometer-long tunnel will likely be a welcome development for locals, shortening the 64-minute drive from Tórshavn -- the capital of the Faroes -- on the isle Streymoy, to the hubs of Runavík and Strendur, on the isle of Eysturoy, to just 16 minutes.
And for tourists, the dazzling traffic circle could become yet another reason to visit this Danish autonomous territory, already known for beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Symbolic significance

The traffic circle was designed by local artist Trondur Patursson, pictured.

The traffic circle, located at the center of the tunnel network, was designed by local artist Trondur Patursson.

It's made of natural rock, just like the wider tunnel network.

The colors regularly change from blue, yellow and green and the lights dance, creating an dazzling effect.
Teitur Samuelsen, the CEO of the company constructing the tunnels, told CNN Travel that, for Patursson, the illuminated structure symbolizes the moving from the darkness towards the light -- and also recalls the traditional Faroese chain dance, in which people hold hands and link up together in rings.

This seems appropriate, given the tunnel network also serves as a means of connection.

The striking structure has symbolic significance.

Samuelsen said that he believes the traffic circle to be the only one in existence under the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Eysturoy Tunnel will open on December 19, 2020 and it'll be followed in a few years time by the still-in-construction Sandoy Tunnel, which will link Streymoy to the isle of Sandoy.

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