Boris Johnson Suggests Building a Bridge From U.Okay. to France

“All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones,” the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, stated in a radio interview. “Let’s finish things that already underway before thinking of new ones.”

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Mr. Johnson has a lengthy historical past of splashy concepts that his critics deride as attention-getting wastes of cash.

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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Mr. Johnson, a former London mayor, has a lengthy historical past of splashy concepts that his critics deride as attention-getting wastes of cash.

His proposal for a new airport on an island within the estuary of the River Thames estuary — instantly dubbed “Boris Island” — was rejected. His plan for a hybrid park and pedestrian bridge throughout the Thames was scrapped after $48 million had been spent.

He championed a cable automobile throughout the Thames that value about $80 million however is evenly used. He backed the design and buy of a fleet of customized buses for London that had been costly and have had mechanical issues, and his successor as mayor, Sadiq Khan, stopped shopping for them.

But if Mr. Johnson is thought for daring new concepts, on this case he has reached again to a daring previous one. Engineers, enterprise moguls and authorities officers have talked about Channel bridges and tunnels because the Victorian period.

In 1930, the British Parliament solely narrowly rejected a proposed tunnel, and within the 1960s, officers in each nations confidently declared that development of some sort of crossing was imminent.

But in an island nation whose finest protection in opposition to continental armies has at all times been the Channel, generations of army and political leaders noticed proposed bridges and tunnels as potential invasion routes. Lately, the Channel Tunnel has beckoned intruders of a totally different type: migrants from Africa and the Middle East hoping to attain Britain.

Proposed Channel bridges have, at numerous instances, been dismissed as attainable threats to navigation. (The Dover Strait, on the Channel’s narrowest level, is among the world’s busiest transport lanes, at the moment utilized by over 400 industrial vessels a day, in accordance to the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency.) And even when the political will existed to construct a crossing, arising with the cash was at all times a problem.

The Channel Tunnel, opened in 1994, value greater than $10 billion to construct, and was not closely used at first, elevating questions on whether or not it was definitely worth the expense. But it now carries greater than 10 million passengers and greater than 20 million tons of freight yearly.

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