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September 5: St. Gotthard Tunnel opens in Switzerland on this date in 1980

Greg Keraghosian
September 5, 2013

On this date in 1980, the St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland as the world's longest road tunnel. The tunnel, whose construction was approved in 1969 in response to Italy's increasing popularity as a travel destination for Swiss vacationers, stretches 10.53 miles (16.94 km) from Göschenen to Airolo, making it feasible to drive from Basel to Milan. Today, it's the third-longest road tunnel, trailing Norway's Lærdal Tunnel (24.5 km), and China's Zhongnanshan Tunnel (18 km).