Title Title
Europe and Africa united? Ancient dream of a Gibraltar crossing might become real Europe and Africa united? Ancient dream of a Gibraltar crossing might become real
Summary Summary
Spain and Morocco may be close to finding the way to cross the Strait of Gibraltar  Spain and Morocco may be close to finding the best way to cross the Strait of Gibraltar
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>For <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">millions of years</a>, Europe and Africa lived separated by a tiny gap of water, the so-called Strait of Gibraltar. A mere 14 km sea crossing that, however, remained unconquerable to the human being — until now.</strong> <strong>For <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">millions of years</a>, Europe and Africa lived separated by a tiny gap of water, the so-called Strait of Gibraltar. A mere 14 km sea crossing that, however, remained unconquerable to the human being — until now.</strong>
Spain and Morocco, Europe and Africa: close neighbours but ever apart. The ancient dream of uniting these pairs might be close, <a href="https://www.diariodecadiz.es/provincia/tunel-Estrecho-viable-pesar-complejidad_0_1249375556.html">according to Spanish planning group SECEGSA</a>, and its president Rafael García-Monge Fernández. Spain and Morocco, Europe and Africa: close neighbours but ever apart. The ancient dream of uniting these pairs might be close, <a href="https://www.diariodecadiz.es/provincia/tunel-Estrecho-viable-pesar-complejidad_0_1249375556.html">according to Spanish planning group SECEGSA</a>, and its president Rafael García-Monge Fernández.
<a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/solucion_base.htm">The project</a> was launched in October 1980, and <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">Spain and Morocco got to work</a>. Each country created its own institution. Spain established the “Sociedad Española de Estudios para la Comunicación Fija a través del Estrecho de Gibraltar (<a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/">SECEGSA</a>)” and Morocco the “<a href="http://www.sned.gov.ma/presentation.asp">Societe dÉtudes du Detroit de Gibraltar</a>”. <a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/solucion_base.htm">The project</a> was launched in October 1980, and <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">Spain and Morocco got to work</a>. Each country created its own institution. Spain established the “Sociedad Española de Estudios para la Comunicación Fija a través del Estrecho de Gibraltar (<a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/">SECEGSA</a>)” and Morocco the “<a href="http://www.sned.gov.ma/presentation.asp">Societe dÉtudes du Detroit de Gibraltar</a>”.
But <a href="http://www.sned.gov.ma/informations.aspv">all the plans or projects</a> have found complications until now. In 1995, during a colloquium held in Seville, it was decided that a tunnel would be the best option. As a consequence, two pilot projects were built in both sides. A 600-metres tunnel was done in Tarifa, and Morocco built a 216-metres tunnel in Malabata. However, these two projects weren´t developed.  But <a href="http://www.sned.gov.ma/informations.aspv">all the plans or projects</a> have been held up by complications until now. In 1995, during a colloquium held in Seville, it was decided that a tunnel would be the best option. As a consequence, two pilot projects were commenced.  A 600-metre tunnel was built in Tarifa, Spain and a 216-metre tunnel in Malabata, Morocco. However, these two projects weren't developed beyond that point.
Furthermore, the discovery of two huge gaps in the middle of the Strait postponed the project. The gaps had already been filled by the nature, but the filling material made it impossible to tunnel. It was neccesary to change the first route and find a new way.  Furthermore, the discovery of two huge gaps in the middle of the Strait postponed the project. The gaps had already been filled by nature, but the filling material made it impossible to tunnel through. A new route was needed.
That is why the last plan projected by both institutions would connect <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">Spanish Punta Paloma in Spain with Malabata in Morocco</a>. A <a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/solucion_base.htm">28-km train tunnel</a> would cross the sea in 30 minutes, connecting Europe and Africa. Not the shortest route but an achievable one.  That is why the latest plan considered by both institutions would connect <a href="https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2018-09-09/tunel-estrecho-gibraltar-37-anos-secegsa_1612683/">Punta Paloma in Spain with Malabata in Morocco</a>. A <a href="http://www.secegsa.gob.es/SECEGSA/LANG_CASTELLANO/PROYECTO/solucion_base.htm">28-km train tunnel</a> would cross the sea in 30 minutes, connecting Europe and Africa. Not the shortest route but an achievable one.
And according to the last statements by SECEGSA, now might be the right moment to carry out the plan. Current technology and good relations between both governments might help to step and accomplish the ancient dream.  And according to the last statements by SECEGSA, now might be the right moment to carry out the plan. Current technology and good relations between both governments might enable the steps forward needed to accomplish the ancient dream.
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Even though it was thought that a bridge could be the solution to connect both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, ground studies have shown that a tunnel would be the right option in this case. Even though it was thought that a bridge could be the solution to connect both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, ground studies have shown that a tunnel would be the right option in this case.
But, who would pay for it? Obviously, Spain and Morocco would the most benefited of this plan, but other countries such as France or Portugal might be also very interested. Anyway, the European Union would have a view into that too, in terms of legislation and financing.  But, who would pay for it? Obviously, Spain and Morocco would directly benefit the most from this connection, but other countries such as France or Portugal might be also very interested. The European Union would have a view of it too, in terms of legislation and financing.
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The idea of connecting two points is not new. For centuries, humans have modified nature to satisfy their interests. In modern times, with advances in engineering, tunnels have been one answer. For instance, the <a href="https://www.getlinkgroup.com/uk/the-channel-tunnel/infrastructure/">Channel Tunnel</a> between England and France stretches for 31.4 miles (50.5km) while the<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikan_Tunnel"> Seikan Tunnel in Japan</a> links main island Honshu with Hokkaido over a distance of 33.5 miles (53.9 km).  The idea of connecting two points is not new. For centuries, humans have modified nature to satisfy their interests. In modern times, with advances in engineering, tunnels have been a chosen  solution. For instance, the <a href="https://www.getlinkgroup.com/uk/the-channel-tunnel/infrastructure/">Channel Tunnel</a> between England and France stretches for 31.4 miles (50.5km) while the<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikan_Tunnel"> Seikan Tunnel in Japan</a> links main island Honshu with Hokkaido over a distance of 33.5 miles (53.9 km).
Even more complex, Chinese government chose a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong%E2%80%93Zhuhai%E2%80%93Macau_Bridge">bridge-tunnel system to connect Hong Kong and Macau</a>, which consists of a series of three cable-stayed bridgesand one undersea tunnel, as well as 3 artificial islands. It spans the Lingdingyang channel, which connects Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities on the Pearl River Delta. Even more complex, Chinese government chose a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong%E2%80%93Zhuhai%E2%80%93Macau_Bridge">bridge-tunnel system to connect Hong Kong and Macau</a>, which consists of a series of three cable-stayed bridgesand one undersea tunnel, as well as 3 artificial islands. It spans the Lingdingyang channel, which connects Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.
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In addition to the diplomatic advantages, this connection might be very beneficial in terms of commerce and trade for both countries, as well as for the European Union and the whole North Africa region. In addition to the diplomatic advantages, this connection might be very beneficial in terms of commerce and trade for both countries, as well as for the European Union and the whole North Africa region.
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bridges, Morocco, Spain, Straits of Gibraltar, tunnels bridges, Morocco, Spain, Straits of Gibraltar, tunnels
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