In order to develop Submerged Floating Tunnel (SFT) Technology within the United States, a workshop on the topic is planned in conjunction with the North American Tunneling 2002 Conference.
SFT's are structurally self-contained tunnels, anchored beneath the surface of a deep body of water. In contrast to conventional tunnels, SFT's are surrounded by water on all sides. By "floating" the tunnels in location, a number of advantages over conventional tunnels can be realized. This technology can also provide advantages over surface methods (e.g. bridges, ferries) of crossing deep water bodies. The potential locations within the U.S. alone that could benefit from development of an SFT are numerous.
Other countries have already directed substantial research efforts toward specific applications of SFT technology. No similar efforts, however, are underway in the U.S. Recognizing the advantages of this new technology, and that such tunnels will ultimately be built, it is important for U.S. researchers and practitioners to develop comparable expertise. It is also important to begin the process of public education, which is the first step in generating public support for a new technology such as this. The proposed workshop will serve as a necessary and significant step in advancement of this new technology. It will serve as the first U.S. forum to facilitate exchange of ideas between international experts, the U.S. academic community and other professionals.