A few months ago, news broke (yet again) that Russia planned to build a tunnel under the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Well, it looks like a tunnel isn’t the only option on the drawing board.
Engineers are also considering how they could build a bridge across the Bering Strait. Or, to be more precise, a series of three bridges spanning the Bering Strait, via the Diomede Islands.
As with a tunnel, the challenge of buildng a bridge from Russia to Alaska would not be insignificant. According to the Discovery Channel (via Fogonazos blog):
Ice breakup after each winter is violent and would destroy normal bridge piers, so the 55-mile-long bridge would need 220 piers, cone-shaped to resemble and function like the bow of an icebreaker ship, and weighing 50,000 tons each.
And that’s even before you consider the thousands of miles of roads and railway lines that would be needed to connect the bridge to any of the major Siberian or North American transport routes.
If you want to know more, the Discovery Channel has an excellent interactive guide, with plenty of diagrams and pictures.