LONDON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Construction of a tunnel linking Europe and Africa could begin within five years after an engineering study of the Strait of Gibraltar is completed.
New Scientist magazine said the tunnel could be built between Punta Paloma in southern Spain and Punta Malabata near Tangier in Morocco. It would be 23.9 miles in length and would run beneath the strait for 16.8 miles at a depth of nearly 1,000 feet.
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow and turbulent stretch of water connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The shortest distance across is 11.8 miles, but the seabed is so deep at that point a tunnel would need to be 3000 feet deep.
Spain and Morocco agreed to conduct a detailed engineering survey to determine the feasibility of a tunnel. The Spanish transport ministry said 27 million euros ($33 million) will be spent on the study, but construction of the tunnel itself would begin no earlier than 2008.