Lærdal Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world

Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, in Norway, the Lærdalstunnelen is the world's longest road tunnel. It is not recommended if you suffer from claustrophobia.

Lærdal Tunnel

What is the longest tunnel in the world?

At 24.5 kilometers (15.2 miles) long, the Lærdal Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world. It carries two lanes of the paved European Route E16 and links Aurland and Lærdal. The tunnel bypassed the scenic 47km (29 miles) long Aurlandsfjellet, a National Tourist Route.

How long does it take to drive through the Laerdal tunnel?

Located in the southwestern part of the country, plan about 20 minutes to drive through the tunnel if you're going the speed limit of 80 km/h. The length of the tunnel prompted engineers to include various features designed to alleviate claustrophobia and tiredness. Norway has many toll tunnels and toll roads; the Laerdal tunnel, on the other hand, is toll-free. You can use the tunnel at no extra cost.

When was the Laerdal tunnel built?

Construction began in the mid-1990s and opened to traffic in 2000. The tunnel does not have emergency exits. Engineers separated the tunnel into different sections to give the illusion that drivers are traveling through a number of smaller tunnels. In these smaller sections, drivers can take breaks. The tunnel was built in response to the difficulty of traveling between Norway's two largest cities—Oslo and Bergen—particularly during winter. The tunnel saves people from traveling through difficult mountain crossings during winter and the hassle of ferry connections. It’s one of the longest tunnels of the country.

Highlights of the Laerdal Tunnel

To enhance the travel experience through the tunnel, a specialized team, led by experienced psychologists at SINTEF, partnered with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA). This collaboration focused on interior design to prevent monotony during the journey. Lighting played a crucial role—every 6 km, the space widened, and rock chambers were equipped with special lighting to deter driver drowsiness. Inside the tunnel, darkness is transformed by vibrant fluorescent lights, adding a touch of beauty to the surroundings.