Engineering Marvel: The “Chunnel”
Jeremiah Thomas, PE (a.k.a. Bullfrog) is part of the Engineering & Training Team at ECP. He will be sharing engineering topics on our blog so check back frequently for updates from Jeremiah.
The Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel” cross under the English Channel from the United Kingdom to France. The original idea for the tunnel was proposed in 1802, but it was not built until 1994 due to political differences. The tunnels were made using 11 boring machines, each one the length of two soccer fields. The 31-mile long tunnel has 23 miles under the channel making it the world’s longest underwater tunnel. At the lowest point, the tunnels reach 250 feet below the seabed.
The tunnels do present a couple social and environmental issues though. Some illegal immigrants have been caught trying to travel through the tunnels. Also, the United Kingdom has been rabies-free since 1902, so barriers were put in place to stop diseased animals.