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Bering Strait Crossing Proposal


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An overview of the vision in the US and Russia for a Bering Strait Crossing going back more than 100 years, including adventurous swimmers and kiteboarders, engineering challenges, architectural concept drawings, and comparisons with notable canals, tunnels, and transcontinental railway systems that have transformed commerce, transportation, history and culture.

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Bering Strait Crossing Proposal

  1. 1. Proposal for a Bering Strait Crossing
  2. 2. Vision of the Universal Peace Federation Develop an international transportation network that can draw together people of all races, cultures, religions and nationalities in one peaceful and prosperous global community.
  3. 3. Little Diomede/Big Diomede Islands 2.4 miles separate the Western Hemisphere and the Eastern Hemisphere. Here you can look from today to tomorrow (across the International Date Line)
  4. 4. Google Earth captures an open sea.
  5. 5. Perhaps a more typical view
  6. 6. • When his ship was crushed by ice in the Chuckchi Sea north of Russia in 1913, Max Gottschalk crossed the Bering Strait by dog sled, eventually making it to Nome, Alaska. Some people dogsled across.
  7. 7. Or kitesurf.
  8. 8. • Lynne Cox swam from Little Diomede to Big Diomede island in 1987 breaking the “ice curtain.” It took her a little over two hours to swim from the US to the Soviet Union in 38-degree water. Others swim.
  9. 9. International Relay Swim across the Bering Strait • 86K First Intercontinental Swimming Relay from Eurasia to America across the Bering Strait: 66 ice swimmers from 16 countries and 15 regions of the Russian Federation swam in relay from Cape Dezhnev in Russia to Cape Prince of Wales August 5-11, 2013.
  10. 10. How about driving across? Engineers love challenges. Fittingly, the issue about the US- to-Russia Bridge also features a “Home Improvement Guide” – an idea for customizing our home planet!
  11. 11. The “Extreme Engineering” video examines precedents of other construction projects in the far north.
  12. 12. US interest goes back more than a century. • Colorado governor William Gilpin proposed a “Cosmopolitan Railway linking the work in a series of railways” (1890). • Joseph Strauss, designer of 400 bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge, presented a proposal to the Russian empire, but it was rejected (1892). • A syndicate of American railroad magnates proposed an Alaska-Siberian railroad to Irkutsk, with mineral rights on the right of way (1904). It was turned down (1907). • Engineer T.Y. Lin proposed a bridge to “foster commerce and understanding between the people of the United States and Soviet Union (1958) and organized the Inter- Continental Peace Bridge Inc. to advance the proposal (1968). • Interhemispheric Bering Strait Tunnel and Railroad Group attracted attention of the Russian American Pacific Partnerships, which evaluates North-Pacific trade corridors between the US, China and Russia (1992). • A private company in Alaska, InterBering, was created to promote Bering tunnel construction (2013).
  13. 13. Russian interest goes back more than a century. • Tsar Nicholas II approved a railroad and tunnel project (1905). But conditions changed with the outbreak of World War I (1914) and the Russian Revolution (1917). • Plans were announced for a TMK-World Link, 6,000-kilometer link between Siberia and Alaska providing oil, natural gas, electricity and railroad passengers to the US from Russia (2007). A tunnel under the Bering Strait would be part of a railway link to Yakutsk, the anticipated terminal of the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline. • The Russian government gave the go-ahead for construction projects (2011).
  14. 14. Recent Chinese interest • The Beijing Times reported that an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering is considering a 8,000 mile-long high- speed rail line from China's northeastern section to the United States, with a tunnel under the Bering Strait (2014).
  15. 15. Architectural designs • The Bering Strait International Ideas Competition was created in 2009, building on UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s 2005 proposal for a Bering Strait Crossing. • Architects submitted concept drawings that envision the potential for tourism and up-close encounters with undersea life.
  16. 16. First-place winner • Taller 301, Bogota, Colombia: Create a series of artificial islands that form two archipelagos extending the two continents and tunnels connecting the two Diomede islands and the archipelagos: one path for vehicles, high-speed trains and pipelines and the other for people to experience a natural park. The artificial land created by dredging and land reclamation would offer protection from the extreme climate.
  17. 17. Second-place winner • OFF Architecture, France: An eco- bridge would give people the opportunity to traverse the Strait by foot, as was originally intended by primary civilizations. People would be able to view the seascape and marine life from the tunnel submerged 50 meters below water level.
  18. 18. In North America, about 2,000 kilometers track would need to be laid to connect to existing rail terminals.
  19. 19. In Russia, about 4,000 kilometers of track would need to be laid to connect to the closest railroad near Yakutsk.
  20. 20. Impact of crossings on commerce and travel Panama Canal, Completed in 1914 Suez Canal, Completed in 1869 Channel Tunnel, Completed in 1994
  21. 21. Impact of transcontinental railroads Transformed commerce – communications – history – culture Russia: Trans-Siberian Railway, completed in 1916 Canada: Canadian-Pacific Railway, completed in 1885 US: Transcontinental Railway, completed in1869
  22. 22. Potential impact of a Bering Strait crossing? Existing routes: green; proposed routes: red
  23. 23. Universal Peace Federation Bering Strait Crossing Proposal