Tunnels underwater are now commonly built by the use of an immersed tube: long, prefabricated tube sections are floated to the site, sunk in a prepared trench, and covered with backfill.
How Are Underwater Tunnels Made?
Underwater tunnels are a fascinating engineering feat. They are used to connect two points of land that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to traverse. Although they are complex structures, they are an important part of our transportation system, providing access to previously isolated areas.
The process of constructing an underwater tunnel begins with the survey and design phase. During this step, engineers use topographical surveys and other methods to determine the best route for the tunnel. They also use computer software to develop plans and drawings for the tunnel, taking into account soil and water conditions, as well as any potential obstacles.
Once the design is finalized, the construction phase begins. This involves digging a trench in the ocean floor, either by using a dredging machine or by blasting the seabed. The trench is then filled with a mixture of concrete and steel reinforcements, which create the tunnel’s walls and roof.
Once the tunnel is complete, it needs to be protected from the elements. To do this, engineers install a waterproof membrane along the outside of the tunnel, usually made of reinforced concrete or plastic. This membrane is designed to keep water out, while allowing air to circulate inside the tunnel.
To ensure the tunnel is safe, engineers also install a series of sensors,