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Stonehenge Tunnel Plan Approved

Stonehenge Tunnel Plan Approved

The British government is moving ahead with a highly controversial plan to build a tunnel under Stonehenge in order to ease traffic around the ancient monument.

At an estimated cost of $2.4 billion dollars, the project will see a major highway expansion that includes the construction of a nearly two-mile-long stretch of road which runs beneath the mysterious site.

Although both the English Heritage Trust, which is the group that oversees Stonehenge, and UNESCO have signed off on the move, the tunnel concept has been met with widespread criticism from a number of quarters.

Historians and archaeologists have decried the plan, saying that the construction could cause the destruction of priceless artifacts contained in the ground beneath the site.

They point to recent discoveries around the area which suggest that the local landscape could be rife with yet-to-be-found treasures and insights into the ancient past.

Additionally, Stonehenge enthusiasts have expressed dismay that, once completed, the tunnel will actually disrupt the view of the sunset for revelers who gather at the site for the annual winter solstice.

But local residents and those who travel on the highly congested highway which runs past Stonehenge are apparently willing to make that sacrifice.

They also argue that the project will actually improve the setting for Stonehenge since current visitors are often plagued by the sounds of nearby traffic.

Despite the various objections, the plan is now poised to commence sometime around 2020 with a projected completion date of 2024.

Since it appears that preservationists have lost the battle over the Stonehenge tunnel, one hopes that, at the very least, workers will keep a keen eye out for anything particularly Earth-shattering found beneath the site during construction.

And, on that note, let's keep our fingers crossed that they are careful when building the tunnel, lest a wayward subterranean blast cause the monument to tumble to the ground.

Source: CNN / The Guardian

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