Beyond the Size

Going Underground: The Benefits of Tunnels in Transportation and More

Tunnels and Their Benefits: An Informative Guide

From underwater tunnels to sewage tunnels, tunnels are an engineering marvel that have been around for centuries. They have brought about a revolution in transportation, accessing difficult terrains, facilitating water supply, and much more.

In this article, we will take a look at the benefits of tunnels, including how they are more cost-effective than open cuttings, avoid disruptions in transportation and traffic, and their benefits in water and sewage management. We will also take a look at some of the world’s longest tunnels.

Geological Conditions

Tunnels provide a feasible solution to geological challenges, such as rocks, and soil that are prevalent in many parts of the world. Naturally occurring obstacles, such as mountains can make transportation impossible or considerably more difficult.

However, tunnels provide an effective solution to this challenge, making travel more manageable and reducing travel time by a considerable margin.

Cheaper Than Open Cuttings

Tunneling costs considerably less than open cuttings. This is because there is no excavation of earth material involved, and there is no need for roadway construction.

Likewise, with tunnel construction, there is limited noise, dust or pollution, due to the confined nature of the activity. More so, tunnels can be drilled in hard-to-access places, which would be challenging and expensive with open cuttings.

Hence, they are a cost-effective means of overcoming geological and topographical challenges.

Avoid Disrupting Surface Life or Traffic

One of the most significant advantages of tunnels is that they avoid the disruption in surface life or traffic. They do not interfere with daily transportation schedules and traffic, making them an ideal solution for areas that are densely populated.

Construction in densely populated areas can slow traffic, leading to everyday life disruptions. Tunnels, however, help overcome this by avoiding surface traffic entirely.

Cheaper Than Bridges or Open Cuttings for Water and Sewage

A water or sewage pipeline constructed beneath a city is an efficient way to manage water and waste management effortlessly. A tunnel provides an efficient way to accomplish this without disrupting surface traffic or contaminating city water reserves.

Tunnels allow for the efficient transfer of water and sewage and are less expensive than bridging or opening cutting the land above it.

List of Longest Tunnels in the World

Now that we have looked at some of the benefits of tunnels let us take a look at the top 12 longest tunnels in the world. 1.

Gotthard Base Tunnel: located beneath the Swiss Alps, measuring 57 km long.


Delaware Aqueduct Tunnel: a water supply aqueduct, measuring 137 km long located in New York City. 3.

Seikan Tunnel: an underwater tunnel connecting Japans Honshu island with Hokkaido Island, measuring 53.9 km long.


Paijanne Water Tunnel: located in Finland, used for water supply, measuring 120 km long. 5.

Channel Tunnel: connects England and France, measuring 50.45 km long, with a rail link and shuttle service. 6.

Dahuofang Water Tunnel: located in Liaoning Province, China, measuring 85 km long, used for water supply.


New Guanjiao Tunnel: Qinghai-Tibet railway, China, measuring 32.645 km long. 8.

Orange-Fish Tunnel: located in South Africa, an irrigation tunnel, measuring132 km long.


Guadarrama Tunnel: used for high-speed trains located in the Guadarrama mountain range, Spain, measuring 28.4 km long. 10.

Emisor Oriente Tunnel: used for wastewater treatment plant in Mexico City, measuring 22.5 km long.


Laerdal Tunnel: located in Norway, used as a road tunnel, measuring 24.51 km long. 12.

Bolmen Water Tunnel: used for water supply in Sweden, measuring 14.7 km long. In conclusion, tunnels are a testament to what engineering can offer, providing a viable option in transportation and water or sewage management.

The benefit of tunnels is that they are cost-effective, avoid disruptions to surface life or traffic, and provide a reliable means of sewage and water management. These underground wonders will continue to remain a crucial aspect of our everyday lives, making it easier for people to connect and access essential utilities.

Tunnels such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel and Channel Tunnel are prime examples of how the engineering has advanced and will continue to do so in the years to come. In conclusion, tunnels are vital infrastructure that provide benefits in transportation, water, and sewage management.

They are a cost-effective and reliable solution to geological and topographical challenges, while avoiding disruptions in surface life or traffic. As engineering continues to advance, tunnels will play an even more significant role in supporting our daily lives.

FAQs: 1) How are tunnels cheaper than open cuttings? They require less excavation and roadway construction.

2) Are tunnels environmentally friendly? Yes, they produce less noise, dust, and pollution compared to open cuttings.

3) Can tunnels be constructed in densely populated areas? Yes, they avoid surface disruptions in traffic and daily life.

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