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Numerous estuaries in the Netherlands break up the mainland from east to west and the Westerschelde Tunnel now provides the first reliable link between the provinces of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and Zuid-Beveland.
60m below sea level
At its deepest point, the Westerschelde Tunnel runs 60m below sea level and is 6.6km long with two 3.5m wide traffic lanes in both directions. The twin tunnels are 12m apart and each has an internal diameter of 10.10m. For safety reasons, the two tunnels are connected by 26 cross passages at 25m intervals.
A short construction period necessitated the use of two tunnel boring machines for simultaneous driving 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Finishing of the tunnel floor was carried out directly behind the tunnel boring machines.
Difficult geological conditions
The successful completion of the Westerschelde Tunnel under difficult geological conditions and 65m under open water was made possible due to the technical competence of an outstanding team.