The construction of the tunnel linking Russia's Far Eastern Chukotka and the west coast of Alaska in the U.S. will start in the nearest future.
The history of the tunnel between Cape Dezhnev, the most eastern point of Asia, and Cape Prince of Wales, the most western point of North America, dates back to the early 20th century. After the Trans-Siberian railway was completed in 1916, Tsar Nicholas II proposed the building of the railway and ferry connection between North America and Eurasia. The idea was backed by the leaders of the Union of Pacific Railroad, but World War I and the October Revolution frustrated the plans.
Later the construction of the railroad to Bering Strait was proposed by Vladimir Lenin. He even signed a decree in 1918, but the construction wasn’t completed. In the 60s the conversation between America and USSR about the construction of the road between 2 countries started again. As a result the Interhemispheric Bering Strait Tunnel and Railroad Group was founded in Washington, D.C. But the tunnel required developed transportation system. So several years later Russians decided to build a road to the town of Magadan. In 2007 Russian president Vladimir Putin proposed the construction of the 2100-mile transcontinental railroad that would lead to Bering Strait.
The communication between Russia and the USA has been going on for more than 100 years and is still not over. The future tunnel is expected to go under the Bering Strait. Some newspapers link the project with Chukotka’s governor Roman Abramovich. It is estimated that a tunnel will cost 60 billion dollars. The 63-mile tunnel will be twice as large as the famous tunnel under La Manche that links Great Britain to France.
However, not everyone is so positive about the tunnel construction. State Duma official Elena Panina said that the exact day of the start of the tunnel construction is still unknown. ‘I don’t think the construction will start anytime soon. The communication on the tunnel construction doesn’t mean it will be constructed right away. This is a big project. I find it perspective, but it’s necessary to take into consideration transport infrastructure of Siberia and Far East. Otherwise the tunnel won’t be effective. We need to build motorways and railroads first’.
Translated by Lena Ksandinova