- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureAuthor Borchelt has deftly described the building of the Seikan tunnel of Japan in four chapters. She has addressed in clear language the what, why, when, and how questions. The tunnel, which measures 174,240 feet, or 33.4 miles long, runs about half of the way under the water of the Tsugaru Strait. It was built to connect Japan's main island of Honshu with its northern island of Hokkaido. The tunnel was started in 1971 and was not finished until 1988. It cost 7 billion dollars to build. Building the tunnel was not an easy task. It required shifts of 3,000 workers at a time, 24 hours a day, to finish the tunnel. There were many problems such as unpredictable soil that slowed the work. In 1976, pressure from the earth and water above the Seikan caused a big hole in the tunnel wall. It took two months for workers to control the flooding. Today, about 2 million passengers travel through the tunnel every year. Freight trains also use the tunnel. The main purpose of the tunnel was to cut travel time between Honshu and Hokkaido. Tunnel travel between the islands is quicker than by ferry, but not as fast as once hoped because instead of a fast-speed train, traditional trains carry the passengers. Still, the Seikan Tunnel remains the longest tunnel in the world and will continue to be used as long as there is money to operate and maintain it. Many color photographs and charts are included, as well as a glossary, further reading, and websites. The Longest Tunnel is one title in the series "Extreme Places." 2004, Kidhaven Press, Ages 9 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi