Bering Tunnel
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Where is that this topic should be included?:
bullet Under the "Trade" page of this website?
bulletOr should rather be under "Tourism", or "Technology"?
bulletWhat about under "Energy", or "Employment"?
bulletPerhaps on "Immigration" , "Foreign Affairs" or the "Environment"?

Well, I do not know!  It has repercussions in all of those issues above.  This issue has such a relevance (to our nation, and to international trade and commerce) that it has a life of its own.

 On several occasions - during the Pleistocene Ice Age- much of the Earth's water froze on the North and South Poles. The sea level went down 300 feet. Consequently, the Artic Ocean exposed an Siberia-Alaska "land bridge".  That happened between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago.  It created a natural migration path from Asia to America.  Archeologists assume that it was across this Bering Land Bridge, also called Beringia, that humans first passed from Asia to populate the Americas.  And not just people, but animals and plants as well.

 Since that time when I was a teenager in Spain, I dreamed of the possibility of traveling by car to America, going from SW Europe to Siberia, and from there -via the Bering Strait- to Alaska.  Of course, Siberia was behind the USSR's Iron Curtain, and therefore off-limits to Westerners.  The Eastern USSR was little developed, and Mao's China was too much of a backward country then to bring any interest to the Bering Bridge / Tunnel Project.  But things are changing fast!

   Times have really changed.  Spaniards and British are talking to Moroccans.  Their idea is to burrow a tunnel under Gibraltar Straits.  Even the Japanese are planning a futuristic International Highway that -among other things- would unite Japan and Mainland China (via a tunnel that would link Japan and South Korea). They are taking the "technological leading torch"  from us.  The Cold War is over, it seems that in America there is no more money for Scientists and Engineers!  All we have left these days is a very limited budget for the Shuttle space effort.  It is getting boring!

To read more about these awesome engineering projects (it is outside my campaign site), please click here. 

  The longest tunnels have been built by Europeans and Japanese (see table below).  We do not have their expertise and technology in this area.  But, with the proper will, America's ingenuity has no limits. It would be an engineering challenge, but it can be done....

 The Bering Strait is only 53 miles wide (86 Km), and at its deepest point is only 300 feet in depth.   

  Alaska (USA), Canada, Siberia (Russia) and China would grow in economic importance.  It would help Japan as well. European and Asian tourism is bound to flood Canada and Alaska.  It would be a deluge of trade between Europe, Asia and North America

The distance from Madrid -or Paris- to Bering is less than twice what the distance is from Bering to Miami, or Quebec. A long distance indeed, but a truck could drive in 2 weeks from Germany to Chicago.   And a Tourist in no rush could do it in 3 weeks!

It is time for this mammoth engineering quest!   It would bring closer the economies of two continents. Not just that, it would bring out the best from the brightest engineering minds in those  two continents.  This is the kind of REAL thing that the American economy needs.  International investors would be ecstatic with the future of America, and of the world.

With current technologies this sea route is feasible, and -in my opinion-  it shall be undertaken, of course, only after environmental guarantees are swear to be followed to death (no excuses allowed).  Anything less than that, means NO DEAL! 

Unfortunately, given the tense relations we had in the past with the Communists (in the old Stalinist USSR, and in Mao's China) realization of this project was out of the question. Lately, I do not think it has ever been given any serious consideration despite its many merits and trade implications.  It is time for a review and analysis of this project.

Let's allow our American ingenuity to fly high once more.

Here is a list of the tunnels of the world (longer than 30 Kilometers).

Country Tunnel Length Opening Comment
Switzerland Gotthard 56 900 m 2010  
Austria - Italy Basis Brenner 55 000 m PRJ  
Japan Sei-kan 53 850 m 1988 Sub sea tunnel under Tsugaru Kaiky
France - Italy Basis Mont d'Ambin 52 110 m 2015  
England-France Chunnel (Eurotunnel) 50 450 m 1994 Sub sea tunnel
Switzerland  Lötschberg 34 600 m 2007  
Austria Koralm 32 800 m After 2010  

We built the Panama canal, and that road flowing through the Florida Keys going all the way to Key West, just 100 miles from Cuba.  The British did the Suez canal and the tunnel under the strait of Dover (in unison with the French who burrowed from the other side of the English Channel).

The Dover tunnel  was built  to bring England's products closer to Europe, and to make it easier for the European tourists to visit the British isles.  As important as these goals might be, they do not measure up (not at all in the same order of magnitude) to the potential benefits of linking Asia, Russia and Europe to North America. 

 If the British -and French- found a justification for building the Dover tunnel ..

How come we could not justify the building of the Bering bridge / tunnel

One thing is for sure, land in Alaska, Canada and Siberia would experienced a tremendous revalorization.  And Detroit would have to build thousands and thousands of heavy trucks, to handle the increase in international commerce.

 I have been subscribed to National Geographic for 40 years, and I have never seen any article about a Bering bridge -or tunnel- being proposed.  How is it possible it has not been build yet?  The USSR has fallen more than a decade ago. 


 Have the Governors of Alaska, and their Senators and Representatives, done the best for their citizens? 


 Maybe it is because there are not Engineers in that group. As usual- probably they are all Lawyers.

 The impact of the environment should be a concern, as I cover below.  Russia is becoming -more and more- a member of the European community, which has historically shown greater concern for the ecology than other countries have, including the US.

Instead of a tunnel, why not to build a huge bridge, or a chain of small bridges like we did in the Florida Keys?

Instead of a tunnel under the Bering Strait, we could have a very long bridge, just 20 or 30 meters above sea level.  And in one place along that structure there would be a huge suspension bridge segment, to allow maritime traffic to pass under on that point.  Not that different from those bridges we have seen in many other places.  Such as:

bulletThe one across Tampa Bay in Florida, connecting Tampa and St. Petersburg. 
bullet Or that bridge not far from Bay Shore, Long Island, NY, which I crossed many times in summer  when on my way to a beautiful national park: Jones Beach.
bulletOr the 14 Km. long bridge (scan of which is shown above, from a Brazilian postcard)  linking Rio de Janeiro with Niteroi (a the other side of the Guanabara Bay). I had to cross it every time I wanted to see my wife's relatives in Sao Gonçalo, Brazil.

A bridge is -therefore- another viable alternative, and probably less costly than a tunnel.  A chain of small bridges (like in the Florida Keys) would be more appropriate for linking the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, bringing American trucks up to 200 miles away from Russia.  Japan instead of shipping across the Pacific, could opt to ship to the Aleutians, and from there by truck to Canada, and to the rest of the USA.  Just another engineering idea.

The suspension bridge component can not be longer than 1 Km. although the Japanese built one with a 2 Km span.  See below table with the world's longest suspension bridges (all exceeding 1 Km in span).




Length in Feet/Meters

Akashi Kaikyo




Great Belt Link




Humber River




Verrazano Narrows

New York City



Golden Gate

San Francisco



Mackinac Straits




Minami Bian-Seto




Second Bosphorous




First Bosphorous




George Washington

New York City



Tagus River




Forth Road




Kita Bisan-Seto





  The Russians have a terrible record on environmental issues.  Ranging from scattering radioactive waste all over Siberia, to allow every kind of furtive hunter to do their act unchecked.  With their inhumane animal traps, and with high-power rifles they have destroyed many of the wildlife's habitats in the Artic Region.  During the Stalin era, native Artic people were pushed North, making room for thousands of miners and loggers who moved in, often with calamitous results for the ecology, and for the Siberian tundra.  Environmental pollution run rampant in Russia.  Irreparable ecological damage has been done in many parts of that geography.  Siberian tigers are close to extinction, and so are many other species of plants and animals of that region. Many children suffer from pulmonary ailments.

  Education of the masses and social responsibility has to come first, then ... development.

  The World Bank and private investors are under pressure from concerned humans not to offer funding (to build highways, or any kind of infrastructure) in the remote areas of those countries where governments are irresponsible (from an ecological standpoint).

  Unfortunately, when food or job opportunities are brought to uneducated masses, the result is population growth and larger uneducated masses.  In a few decades  the resources (fish, hunt, wood, minerals) start to dwindle.  Once depleted, the unemployed and hungry  will irremediably ask for permission to destroy more habitats so they can work or eat.  We are humans, there are millions of us and we have rights, the others are just a few thousands wild animals with no rights.  Actually, rarely these citizens would ask for permission, because -for all practical purposes- these remote areas are outlaw lands.  Licenses are unheard of.  Hunters, poachers, loggers, they all just go for it, and furtively do their thing.  Using explosives, radars, high-power rifles, tramps, industrial chain saws, powerful logging tools and huge earth movers ... you name it!

The Russian are drying up the huge Aral Sea. Clear cutting A steel-mill town in Russia (1980's).  I hope it has improved since)

 We should all think as being citizens of the world.  When people do not behave in a responsible manner, it is justified NOT TO develop those regions, for as long as it would take for them to change.  Countries should be ostracized, and commerce with them brought to a standstill to force them to change.  International organizations should be allow to assess heavy penalties on them, as well as demanding costly clean-ups and environmental reparations. Visas for their people to emigrate abroad, suspended. That is the cost that should be imposed on them for being negligent with Nature's resources.

It is because of those few greedy individuals (and corporations and governments, who tolerate under their eyes, the irreparable damage being done to our planet) that we have to stop projects which  -ironically- would had brought needed education, technology, culture, welfare, and progress to them from the rest of the world.

The Pan-American highways has not been finished because of rightful concerns on the environmental impact to the Amazon region, brought up by concerned individuals and international organizations.    After all, the Amazon forest has been compared to the the lungs of our planet. It is Nature's endowment to all humans on Earth, and not just to the Brazilians -and others- who live there.

These "green" organizations are getting more powerful each day.  That evidences the fact that the ecological disasters looming over our heads are becoming more obvious and palpable to many of us.  The more watchdogs the better.  Because, unfortunately, there will never be enough watchdogs to protect us from all the sneaky damage being perpetrated against Nature on a daily basis.  Many corrupt corporations and shortsighted governments  focusing mostly on this year -or next year- exports or profits, than on the survival and long-term welfare of humankind.   The cost -for them to pay being negligent- must be heavy and unrelenting.

Cellulose plant in Russia Life in the black.  A coal town in Rumania Indonesia: Rainforest on fire

If there is a  death penalty for killing a human being, should not we be even harsher for those who entirely exterminate precious species of flora and fauna for all of us to enjoy?  Every time a species becomes extinct  it would be a permanent loss, and a crime committed not just against all the 6 billions of humans currently on the Planet, but against the trillions and trillions who would inhabit Earth during the next hundreds of years to come.

 No question that with a network of highways crisscrossing Latin America, greater progress would have come to the whole region.  They are paying the price of not being responsible and watchful of their resources.  Also are being penalized for allowing Religion to adversely affect family planning, bringing -consequently- irrational population growth upon them.   I think -though- time has changed, and it is time to revise that Pan-American Highway project as well, as I cover on another page of this website.

  The Bering bridge / tunnel should not be built if there are no environmental guarantees. Governments involved need to strictly adhere to environmental regulations.  That means, that it might take another hundred years for the construction of the Bering pass way to begin. I hope that our "civilized" societies show  responsible maturity, and that delay would not materialize. 

  Is not just Russia that has been negligent.  Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia are all  negligent -among other things- because of the clear cutting being allowed on their forests (sometimes with total indiscriminate man-caused burning of their precious rainforests).  And -it is sad for me to admit- that except for Europe, most of the countries around the world are careless with the environment.  That includes South America and our North America.  As well as Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

Brazil: Gold miners hosing down the jungle.  Taiwan pollution Too close to man We keep invading their habitats.  They lose!

 Only after Russia would sign a stringent environmental treaty, is that this Bering bridge/tunnel, and its sequel of highway  networks (such as the Artic highway, or Trans-Siberian highway that I mentioned on the graph above) should get funding and the international permissions to be built.  If you ask me, I would say that at least in theory, an organism within the UN Organization should give the final seal of approval to this type of international projects.  They should also provide the  watchdogs that would make sure the rules are followed and that environmental agreements are precisely observed.  Easier said than done given the current chaotic way they operate these days.

  In the USA we have seen cruel decimation of animals in the past, and to a lesser extent it even occurs even as I write these lines.  Many polar bears are being killed because Alaska's population grows invading wildlife habitats.  These animals become a dangerous nuisance and a threat to humans.   There is still a large quota of sea lions, seals, and whales that are allowed to be hunted.

  We have seen pictures of seals (24,000 a year in an Alaskan island alone) being killed with bats -in order not to damage their skins- so some ladies will have nice fur coats.  Shame on them.  The flesh of these seals -and whales- is processed as canned meat, to feed those thousands and thousands of cats and dogs that many Americans enjoy petting .  From an enviromental standpoint- cats and dogs -regardless of breed-  are totally "uninteresting species" .  They are too abundant, and are avid carnivores that would destroy other species of animals if allowed to escape to the wild, as they did in Australia, in America (North, Central and South), and in many islands around the world  where they finished up with many species of marsupials and reptiles (that had survived for millions of years until the wild dogs -as well as the domesticated cats and dogs- took care of them in less than 400 years).    A disaster!

Seals to be slaughtered with bats in Alaska. After the massacre!       White-tiger furs at Katmandu, Nepal Logging, USA
If you are interested on this Bering-Tunnel topic, I found two other sites on the Internet that have related information to this subject.  They are at:
Editor: JX


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