Built more than two decades ago, The Channel Tunnel still provides an efficient link between France and Britain. However, the story of its construction is an interesting one, as it has been a bumpy road.
The first prototype of the tunnel was the brainchild of French engineer Albert Mathieu. He intended it for Napoleon, hoping that it would make it easier for him to invade the island nation.
In 1802, Albert dreamt of a two-level tunnel, the upper level for transport and the lower level for the flow of seawater. The tunnel would have provided safe passage for horse-drawn carriages, with a paved road and oil lamps to aid the brave crossers. Albert had even taken exhausted horses into account, as his plans included a man-made island where they could change horses for a less exhausted four-legged one.
However, the French engineer’s plan was quickly halted by the British. Although they too were divided, they eventually concluded that the tunnel would have been very conducive to the French troops’ surge. They feared that Napoleon would have taken advantage of this opportunity and easily conquered the island nation.