December 1, 1987 – Tunnelers meet under English Channel

December 1, 1987 – Tunnelers meet under English Channel

The island of Britain is connected with the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age when workers from England and France meet 40 meters beneath the English Channel seabed. Attempts to dig a tunnel between Britain and France date back to the 1880s, and as early as 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte conceived of a tunnel to aid him in an invasion of England. However, it was not until the 1990s that the tunnel became a reality. The Channel tunnel was officially opened in May 1994 and featured two rail tunnels and a service tunnel. The "Chunnel," as it came to be called, cut travel time between England and France by 45 minutes, and the monumental number of workers needed to build it provided a much needed boost to the economies of the two nations.