At more than 35 miles, the tunnel will be the world's longest when it becomes operational in 2017. The tunnel will speed passenger and freight rail transport in the Alps region.
"The $10 billion tube bores through the Gotthard massif, including the 8200-foot (2,500-meter) Piz Vatgira, along the route to Italy. It's part of a larger project to shift the haulage of goods from roads to rails, spurred mainly by a concern that heavy trucks were destroying Switzerland's pristine Alpine landscape.
Swiss voters, who are paying over $1,300 each to fund the project, approved its construction in a series of referendums almost 20 years ago and will have to wait several more before it is ready for rail traffic."