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Engineering & Construction

$7bn plan for new Japan undersea tunnel warms up after years on ice

Project would allow auto traffic between Honshu and Hokkaido

A proposed new undersea tunnel between Japan's Honshu and Hokkaido islands would have two decks, one for autos and the other for freight trains. (Image courtesy of the Japan Project-Industry Council)

SAPPORO -- The idea of a tunnel for auto traffic between Japan's main island of Honshu with Hokkaido to the north has gained new momentum after years of being considered a wasteful long shot.

The 31-km undersea tunnel would cost 720 billion yen ($6.97 billion) and serve as a complement to the existing, rail-only Seikan Tunnel, according to a proposal submitted last month to Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba.

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