Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Bridge too Far?

Looks like Bering Strait tunnel/bridge proposals are back again:

The Chelsea Football Club's owner has paid $174 million for the boring machine, which will have a 19m diameter, almost a quarter wider than its nearest rival.

There was immediate speculation that the drill would be used to build a tunnel linking Russia and America under the 88km wide Bering Strait.

The tycoon is thought to share outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's vision of a "WorldLink" tunnel connecting the frozen wastes of Chukotka, the Russian region of which Mr Abramovich is governor, to Alaska.

"It is one of Putin's dream projects and he has already had secret talks with Washington about it," claimed an insider.

"He sees Russia as the hub of the world and wants Europe to transport its goods, as well as his own, across his country to the US."

The idea of building some sort of crossing across the strait has been around since at least the 19th Century. One problem is that its no use building a tunnel unless theres a road or rail on the other side to take the traffic.

Now people like Mark Steyn don't believe Russia will be around much longer anyway, at least not in its current form. Its declining population will see much of it eastern territory break up into Moslem stans or sold to the Chinese. But how about a deal with the Americans? They help finance the crossing and the necessary road/rail network in return for a slice of Siberian territory. The US brought Alaska of the Russians after all.

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