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Maltese subsea tunnel considered viable

Construction of an undersea tunnel to link Malta and Gozo is considered to be viable following a feasibility study of the project.

In the study undertaken by Gordon Cordina of E Cubed Consultants, it has been estimated that the 12km single bore, two lane carriageway tunnel would cost €300M (£211.5M) but would offer £800M (£564M) of economic benefits over a 20 year period.

This cost has been compared with €800M (£564M) for a bridge and €120M (£84.5M) investment needed in ferry services by 2030.

Both the bridge and tunnel would have a 100 year design life, whereas the ferry option only offers a 30 year design life. The road link options would also reduce the journey times from an average of 50 minutes by ferry to 12 minutes.

The tunnel would reach at least 100m depth and have 50m of rock cover.

Cordina has recommended further geotechnical investigations are undertaken to determine the tunnel route and provide better cost estimations. The report has suggested that planning could be completed within two years and construction could be undertaken within a 36 month period.

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