Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TEPR) proposed routeEnlarge Photo
Update: An earlier version of this story misquoted former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by incorrectly attributing a television-skit quote to her.
What if U.S. citizens could drive...to Asia? A new proposal from Russia would see the country connected to the United States by highway bridge as part of a massive superhighway crossing the length of Russia, ultimately linking New York and London.
Called the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TEPR). the ambitious project was proposed by Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin earlier this month, according to CNN.
The route would include some pre-existing roads to reach London and New York, but would still require thousands of miles of tarmac across the width of Russia. This would be laid alongside the existing Trans-Siberian Railway—the longest railway in the world.
Connecting the North American and Eurasian continents would also be complicated. The highway would have to span a minimum 55-mile distance between mainland Russia and Alaska, and continue on through the isolated state's wilderness. About 520 miles separates the closet settlement to Russia—Nome—from the nearest major city, Fairbanks. From there, drivers could connect to an existing road network to Canada and the Lower 48 states.
CNN estimates that a driver from London to New York via the TEPR would encompass 12,910 miles. Hopefully the Russian authorities will build plenty of rest stops along the way.
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Aside from its grueling length, there's also the question of how this huge project will be funded. The TEPR would reportedly cost "trillions of dollars," but Yakunin is apparently a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and could potentially use that influence to get the project rolling.
While we wouldn't start planning that road trip just yet, this might be one to watch if you absolutely can't stand flying. And better yet, there's also talk of a high-speed rail light along the same path.