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A rail tunnel running under the Swiss Alps is slated to be the world’s longest and also its most expensive, costing 11 billion euros ($12 billion) to complete.

After 17 years of construction, the Gotthard Base Tunnel will have a soft opening on Wednesday and commence regular operations at the end of this year, The Guardian reports. The tunnel runs for more than 35 miles and sits nearly a mile and a half beneath the surface.

It dethrones Japan’s underwater Seikan tunnel as the world’s longest (by only 1.8 miles) though the Chinese government hopes to outdo them both, with plans to build a 76-mile tunnel under the Bohai straits.

[The Guardian]

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