Impossible means not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc or unable to be done, performed, effected. Impossible is an adjective and it is a word which is use by many doubters. Yet, this is the one word that should be permanently removed. Impossible is one of the most misused words in the dictionary. Why, because nothing is ever impossible. Many once thought the Wright Brothers were will never be able to take flight. Look at the world now, planes are one of the main source of traveling from one end of the Earth to the other. Before 1969, going to the moon was looked at as an impossible task. Was it? No, Neil Armstrong was the first human to go to the moon and landed back on earth successfully. The English Channel Tunnel, what seemed like an unreachable dream to many. One of the problems was that people were worried about fire breakouts on the trains. The solution to this was to have a cross path between the three tunnels every 375 meters for an escape route (Impossible Engineering Jobs). During the 1994, the English Channel Tunnel was finally open, linking England and France (Channel Tunnel). The list continues on and on but, in every situation, the impossible was made possible. The Transatlantic Tunnel is only a dream as of now, a dream to link New York to London to Paris. Dreams are made to come true. The Transatlantic Tunnel is a plausible project because with every obstacle, there are ways to overcome them and when this is built, life around the world will change.
Every year, about 16 million people cross the Atlantic Ocean, most which is by plane (Extreme Engineering). The current average flight time from JFK Airport (New York City) to LHR Airport (London) is about 7 hours (Orbit). Within that time many things can be done and that is excluding the time spent in the Airport if there is a delay due to weather issues. Time is the one thing that money cannot buy because time doesn’t wait for no one. The Transatlantic Tunnel will enable people to leave in New York City and arrive in London in about fifty four minutes (Extreme Engineering). Travel time will be greatly reduced, allowing people to live on one end of the Atlantic Ocean and working in the other. Also one can have dinner in New York and have dessert in Paris. This idea sounds great and it had been dreamt by others as well.
People have had visionary of the Transatlantic Tunnel for more than a century. During 1935, the film, Transatlantic Tunnel, had a close and similar approach to how to build the Transatlantic Tunnel as engineers of today (TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL – Looking Back Toward the Future). Also Harry Harrison, science fiction writer during the 1970s envisioned a Transatlantic Tunnel that will be supported by numerous number of sea bridges (Under sea- WORMHOLE 'TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL). Although many people thought about a Transatlantic Tunnel, some people put this thought aside because they felt as if this will be too difficult of a task. But with everything, there are problems and with everything there are ways to find solutions.
The Transatlantic Tunnel will be the world’s longest tunnel in the world, stretching 3100 miles across the Atlantic Ocean (Transatlantic Tunnel). A tunnel this long requires a billion tunnel of steel to complete it from point A to point B. In order to output this much steel, it would take about one year if the entire steel mill factories combine their production together (Extreme Engineering). Along with this the price will reach a whooping 12 trillion dollars and over a century to complete. These are only the easier problems to solve.
First thing that must be done when building a tunnel, is to map out the route. Originally, engineers decided that a northern route would be best because it is also the shortest route, cutting half the distance of a submerge tunnel (Under sea- WORMHOLE 'TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL). The shortest route seemed most efficient because that also means that it will be the shortest amount of construction time. Along with that, the cost of underwater tunnel can cost up to about 4 billion dollars per mile so mapping out the shortest route seemed to be the best idea (Transatlantic Tunnel). The northern route will begin at the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, crossing over Greenland and Iceland, then splitting right before the tunnel reaches Scotland and Norway. The tunnel crossing across the northern Atlantic Ocean meets no problems (Extreme Engineering). Eventually though, engineers soon realize that building a tunnel over Greenland will cause many problems during their brutal winter, slowing traffic due to high winds and ice (Extreme Engineering). Instead, they now agree that it would be best to build a tunnel leaving straight off of the coast of New York City to London to Paris.
After the route was chosen, the next step is to figure out how to build it. The most common way when it comes to building tunnels is to simply drill a hole which is done by a tunnel boring machine (Channel Tunnel The North of France). The English Channel Tunnel was built by having a tunnel boring machine on both ends of the tunnel and eventually the hole was completed. Yet, scientist says that it will be near impossible to drill a straight hole all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. In comparison to the English Channel Tunnel, the Transatlantic Tunnel will take over three centuries to complete therefore drilling will not be one of the most efficient way (Extreme Engineering). In addition to that, the English Channel Tunnel is only about 300 feet below sea level at its deepest point, whereas, the Transatlantic Tunnel will have to sit five miles below sea level (The World Factbook). This far down the ocean the pressure is almost 500 times greater than the surface, so drilling a tunnel here is only going to become a big disappointment (Extreme Engineering). A tunnel five miles below sea level just would not be survivable for people or the tunnel itself.
Another method that engineers thought of is using an immerse tunnel. An immerse tunnel is where sections of the tunnel are fabricated on land. After sections of the tunnel are completed, they will be ship out to sea and then put together there. Engineers says that building an immerse tunnel will be much safer than to just simply boring a hole through the Earth (Extreme Engineering). Building a Transatlantic Tunnel using this method would require about 54,000 of these prefabricated sections. In order to produce this large amount of tunnel sections, it will take 20 years if, 225 factories are continuously working around the clock and every single one of the tunnel sections are put towards this project (Extreme Engineering). Creating the tunnel is only the first step of this process. After all 54,000 of the tunnel sections are completely, they will then need to be towed out to sea. The distance the tunnel will have to travel may be right off the shore to as far out as 1500 miles. When the sections reach their destination point, this is where the work will start to become difficult. The sections lower down by immersion pontoon. Divers working beneath the water will have to work in almost totally darkness and are only able to depend on the global positioning system, allowing them to position the tunnel section to exactly the right spot (Extreme Engineering). Divers must remain cautions at all time because the tunnel sections could pinch a diver’s air hose and evidently suffocating to death. But since the immerse tunnels also sit at the bottom of the ocean, it will lead to total failure for a Transatlantic Tunnel because it will have to sit too deep. Also once again, enormous pressure, about 12million pounds per square inch at the deepest part of the ocean, the tunnel will be crushed to death (Under sea- WORMHOLE 'TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL).
With these two ideas crushed and tossed in the trash can, there is left only one idea, building a submerged floating tunnel (Transatlantic Tunnel). Now this is a fairly new idea and has never been tried before but some engineers are confident that this will work. Chief engineer of Norway Roads Administrations, Håvard Østlid says, “The submerged floating tunnel and the immerse tunnel are very similar. But the immerse tunnel is resting in the trench on the bottom of the river, of the crossing. The submerged floating tunnel is suspended in water and has water all around it” (Extreme Engineering). To have a submerged tunnel work, there need to be the perfect balance of air and ballast to allow the tunnel to float at the particular depth. How the way the submerged floating tunnel needs to be balance work exactly the same as a submarine (Extreme Engineering). The main concern for a submerged floating tunnel is that it may very well, float away.
At the very beginning of the tunnel, it is possible to build large piers sitting under the tunnel, supporting them similar to bridges (Transatlantic Tunnel). Continuing the piers throughout the whole 3,100 miles will be very difficult to do. The piers will be like their own project. With depth reaching up to five miles deep, this method will be not one of the best options to support the submerged floating tunnel for the Transatlantic Tunnel.
Engineers have also come up with another option that engineers that may support the tunnel from above the water. To do so, the Transatlantic Tunnel will have large pontoons possibly holding the tunnel in place (Extreme Engineering). Yet, with the strong wind and powerful currents of the Atlantic Ocean, the tunnel will easier be tossed around like a rag doll.
Another method is to have a number of long tether cables that are connect to the tunnel. Then the pipes will be attached to the sea floor by suction anchor (Extreme Engineering). The way this will work is that while the anchors are driving into the sea floor, water will be forced out creating a tight vacuum seal. This method is already in use today except instead of cables, long steel pipes were in use. Some off-shore oil platform uses this method to keep their 3,060 ton platforms in place and stayed in place for more than a decade (Extreme Engineering).
When using this idea for the Transatlantic Tunnel, the tether cables will be holding it down. Working just opposite of what suspension bridges do. The advantage in using cables to hold down the tunnel is that the cables are certainly strong enough, yet it is not 100 percent rigid (Extreme Engineering). This will allow the tunnel to sway just a little bit with the underwater current.
Now some doubter argue that when the inevitable happens, such as when a large underwater animal hits the tunnel, how will the tunnel be survive. Well the Transatlantic Tunnel will be closely monitor and if there is any failure, big or small, alarms will be quickly trigger. Also, if a whale or blind submarine reaches within two miles of the tunnel, the tether cables will slacken just slightly (Extreme Engineering). Releasing some slack will prepare the tunnel for impact. If the tether cables release too much slack, then the maglev train could potentially wrap, leading to a devastating crash. Plus, at the speed the passengers are travel and the thickness of the tunnel, the passengers will feel almost nothing at the time of impact.