The Ryfylke district is not only one of the most beautiful places in Norway for its natural beauty. At the same time, it stands out because it is also home to one of the most impressive engineering works of recent times: the Ryfylke Tunnel.
The Ryfylke Tunnel
This underwater road tunnel stretches for 14.4 kilometers and reaches a depth of 292 meters. Its opening was at the end of 2019. The Ryfylketunnelen is one of the world’s longest and deepest tunnels in its category.
What makes it truly special is that it allows vehicles of all types to pass under the Horgefjord. Although there are other man-made structures in the world that are equal to or even larger than this tunnel, its design is truly unique.
The Ryfylke Tunnel can be compared to remarkable examples of engineering worldwide. Such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, which stretches for 57 kilometers. Also with the Seikan Tunnel in Japan, which spans approximately 53.8 meters in length. However, the Ryfylketunnelen stands out significantly in the road tunnel category.
In addition, Norway also has the Laerdalstunnelen, which is 24.5 kilometers long and also functions as a road, despite traversing a mountainous area.
Features that distinguish this great work of engineering.
What really distinguishes the Ryfylketunnelen and fills Norwegians with pride is its depth. It was built with a 7% slope and sinks to 292 meters below sea level. This allows residents to cross the Horgefjord without having to make a big detour.
It connects the city of Stavanger, Norway’s fourth largest city and an industrial oil and gas center, with the town of Ryfylke. Before the Ryfylketunnelen was built, the only option was to take a ferry. This trip took 45 minutes, while the journey through the tunnel takes only 15 minutes.
Furthermore, this tunnel is not an isolated work, but is part of an even larger project known as Ryfast. In this project, they have plans to build more works. It includes the Hundbag Tunnel, which will be 5.5 kilometers long, and will be further extended with the 3.7-kilometer Eiganes Tunnel. In total, therefore, this project includes the construction of three tunnels and 53 kilometers of new roads.
But Ryfylke is a city that is not limited only to its engineering achievements. It also has other attractions that make it news, such as the world’s longest staircase. It consists of 4444 steps and is located in the Kjerag massif, 1084 meters above the fjord. Although venturing to these heights can be tempting, it is advisable to hire a local guide to ensure a safe and memorable experience.