COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway plans to build the world’s first tunnel for ships, a 5,610-foot-long passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of the sea.

Construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, which would accommodate cruise and freight ships weighing up to 16,000 tons, is expected to open in 2023.

It will be 118 feet wide and 162 feet tall and is estimated to cost at least $314 million.

Norwegian Transportation Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said Wednesday that sea currents and underwater topography along the country’s southwestern coast “result in particularly complex wave conditions,” and a ship tunnel had been under consideration for years.

The tunnel is expected to be located at the narrowest point of the Stadlandet peninsula, where the weather has for decades been considered an obstacle for shipping.

Project manager Terje Andreassen said engineers will have to blast out an estimated 8 million tons of rock to build the tunnel. Construction is expected to start at the earliest in 2019.

Under the plan, passenger traffic will be given priority, but leisure boats and other vessels can also use the tunnel. It will be free of charge for vessels measuring less than 230 feet, and vessels longer than that would have to be led.

Vessels sailing through the tunnel likely will get slot times from a traffic center to avoid congestion.

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