Module BNEP229 Construction and Development Economics
The Channel Tunnel/Le Tunnel Sous Le Manche
Management and Organization of the Project
The Channel Tunnel, a project to link two countries via two railway lines across the English Channel. It is the second longest rail tunnel in the world with an undersea section approximately 37.9km long being the longest undersea section on the world.
The idea for this link was suggested in 1752 when the Amiens Academy held a competition to find a new method of crossing the English Channel however this was not put forward as a project until 1802 when this idea was taken seriously by Albert Mathieu a mining engineer who envisaged the tunnel as a very real possibility and valued the project to cost £1 million. His work came to the attention of Napoleon Boneparte who discussed the project with Charles James Fox an English statesman at the Treaty of Amiens. This was the first time that both nations had spoken of having a fixed crossing built connecting them. The political relationship between both countries went into turmoil shortly afterwards and the project was shelved.
A French civil engineer and hydrographer named Aime Thome’ de Gammond carried out the first research on the Channels sea bed to determine if a tunnel could be built. His proposal involved ventilation shafts which eased the concerns that the tunnel could be used to invade either country, the tunnel could be flooded. These concerns and the worsening relationship between the countries prevented the project from happening.
As time marched on and progression of technology advancing, the fears of an invasion via the tunnel sub-sided.
The project launched in 1973 but folded due to financial problems in 1975 after the abondonement of the project by two companies involved over excessive costs of the project shortly after the construction of a 250m/820ft test tunnel.
In 1981 a joint technical commission was setup by Margaret...