“The Gotthard will forever be a spectacular and grandiose monument with which all

tunnels will be compared.”

–Swiss Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger – May 2016.

 

The world’s deepest and longest tunnel was finally opened formally on Wednesday, after nearly twenty years of construction work. Gotthard Tunnel, with a length of 57 kilometers, provides a high-speed train route between northern and southern Europe through the Swiss Alps. Over a million lorries were used to transport the goods that will now pass through this tunnel in a quicker and safer manner. The total cost of the project, approved by Swiss voters in 1992, is over $12 billion. The initial support for this mega-construction project was centered around protecting the Alpine environment, but the presence of prominent European leaders including Angela Merkel at the inauguration ceremony highlights the overall importance of this tunnel to the entire continent.