Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

The incredible 17.2-mile underwater tunnel that could soon link Spain with Africa | World | News


Spain‘s Transport Minister, Óscar Puente, raised hopes to see the much-discussed Fixed Link Project for the Strait of Gibraltar connecting Morocco and his country become a reality within years.

His predecessor Raquel Sánchez had already rekindled hopes for this project in February 2023, when she conveyed to the Moroccan government the interest of the Spanish construction sector in participating in the development of the African country’s infrastructures.

She said at the time: “We are going to give impetus to the studies of the Fixed Link Project for the Strait of Gibraltar, which was initiated by both countries forty years ago. A strategic project for Spain and Morocco, and also for Europe and Africa.”

In July, the Spanish government gazette confirmed the allocation of £1.96million (€2.3m) of European funds for the Spanish Society for Fixed Communication across the Strait of Gibraltar (SECEGSA) to update the studies related to the project.

Earlier this week, during a visit to Morocco, Mr Puente said a date would be set “as soon as possible” for a meeting focused on plans regarding the Fixed Link Project.

This meeting, which could bring further progress in the studies for its development, would come after the minister reached an agreement with his Moroccan counterparts.

This will create different working groups aimed at building the framework for collaboration on the development as well as other transport projects in the interest of both Madrid and Rabat.

During his meeting with Moroccan officials in Rabat, Mr Puente highlighted the strategic nature of the much-anticipated link.

The Spanish minister also highlighted the good relations between the two nations and the open channels of communication they share, which should be used to promote the development of more infrastructures and transport links.

It could also help to overcome challenges including those arising ahead of the 2030 FIFA World Cup – hosted jointly by Morocco, Spain and Portugal.

He said: “For the Spanish government, relations with Morocco are a priority. We believe that Morocco is a country that represents an enormous opportunity for the European Union for economic, cooperation and migratory reasons.”

Plans to build a human-made link between Spain and Morocco date back decades, and originated in the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Declaration signed on June 16 1979 in Fez by the then countries’ sovereigns.

Over the years, experts have put forward projects for both a tunnel and bridge, and plans about the exact nature of the Fixed Link Project are yet to be officially confirmed.

Last year, the Spanish daily La Razon reported the project may consist of a high-speed rail link spanning around 26 miles.The project reportedly includes a 17.2-mile-long underwater tunnel and a 6.3-mile underground tunnel.

Moroccan state-owned media SNRTNews said last year the tunnel would reach a maximum depth of 1,558 feet.



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