The longest tunnel in Europe was opened on Friday (10 January) by West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Hamburg.
GV PAN FROM River Elbe TO tunnel entrance
GV ZOOM IN TO Chancellor Schmidt surrounded by crowd
SV INT Tunnel control room PAN FROM controller TO television monitors (2 shots)
CU PAN ACROSS Control panel
SV EXT Schmidt throws switch to official open tunnel
SV Traffic enters tunnel
TRAVEL SHOT THROUGH Tunnel (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Crowds watch traffic emerge from tunnel
Initials BB/1605 JW/JB/BB/1618
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Background: The longest tunnel in Europe was opened on Friday (10 January) by West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Hamburg.
The two-mile (3,325-metre) tunnel under the River Elbe cost 87 million pounds sterling (208 million U.S. dollars), has a six-lane highway and is only just -- by 135 yards (metres) -- shorter than the longest tunnel in the world ... Japan's Kanmon tunnel. But, since the Kanmon tunnel carries only two lanes of traffic, the Hamburg tunnel has been dubbed "the biggest tunnel in the world".
The tunnel by-passes Hamburg at a saving of about one hour's driving time and can take between 60,000 and 65,000 vehicles a day. It also completes the last section of the Stockholm-to-Paris motorway.
Work on the project began in 1968 when it was hoped to complete the tunnel in early 1974. It was, in fact, opened to the public just before Christmas -- but only for pedestrians.