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Transportation

London's Mayor: Huge Tunnels Will Solve Our Congestion Problem

The city ponders its own version of the Big Dig.
A TfL rendering showing a West London road covered over with new trees and construction.
A TfL rendering showing a West London road covered over with new trees and construction.TfL

A new plan for London suggests a bold solution to the city’s congestion problems—huge tunnels running beneath its core.

Launched by Mayor Boris Johnson, the proposal would see London dig two east-west tunnels underneath the city center, sucking car traffic off the streets and tidying it into two subterranean highways with a combined length of 43 kilometers (26 miles). To clear the streets of yet more vehicles, the tunnels would be complimented by nine additional “fly-unders”—as excavated, sunken highways are being called in Britain—that would bury major feeder roads in other parts of London as well. With no cost as yet confirmed for the plan, the mayor’s office has suggested that funding could come in part from constructing housing on space no longer needed for roads.