September 5, 2012 - A Loooooong Tunnel Opened

– 1980

At the time, it was the world's longest road tunnel.

It stretches 16.3 kilometers (a little more than 10 miles), and it took 11 years to build.

On this date in 1980, the Gotthard Road Tunnel opened, connecting Switzerland to Italy. Don't get me wrong: people had been able to travel from Switzerland to Italy before 1980, but on a road that goes through a pass high in the Alps—and this road was often closed because of snowy conditions. The Gotthard Road Tunnel cuts through the mountain and can be used all year long.
Here Swiss workers celebrate the completion of the world's largest tunnel!

 Since this Swiss tunnel was opened, two longer tunnels have been built: a tunnel that is more than 11 miles long in China, and one that is more than 15 miles long in Norway! It's so hard to hold onto a world record for long.

I wouldn't love to drive ten to fifteen miles through a tunnel, but it might be better than driving some of these crazy roads

This tunnel in Zion has some cut-out
windows that give travelers
framed views of the scenery!
Speaking of crazy, here are five crazy tunnels from around the world. And how about five more?  My favorite tunnel may be in Zion National Park (shown here, right).

Also on this date:

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