Beyond the Silk Road – the Bering Straits Connection

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

China and Russia have loosely suggested at plans to link northeast Asia with Alaska, via the Bering Straits. This would connect the Chukotka Peninsula in Eastern Russia and the Seward Peninsula in Alaska, thus connecting North America with Asia. The distance required to do this is some 80 kilometers.

Two suggestions as regards this are currently in the spotlight, and with the strategic positioning of the Diomede Islands within the Bering Straits, the route could be spanned by three bridges.



Two long bridges, each almost 40 kilometers (25 mi) long, would connect the mainland on each side to one island, and a third much shorter one between the two islands. A second suggestion calls for the building of a tunnel underneath the Straits, which would be capable of carrying high speed rail.

At present the project is in a state of limbo, with financial and political concerns over viability. In fact, the project is not new in concept, with Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s last emperor, approving such a plan for a tunnel in 1905. The project was called off due to the outbreak of World War 1.

While feasible, it seems unlikely at present to gain much traction. But if eventually carried out, it would add a spectacular addition to the Silk Road, which would at that point become a truly trans-global route.


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