Chinese company Qingdao Conson Development has initiated construction work on the second Jiaozhou Bay tunnel, which is claimed to be the world’s longest underwater road tunnel.

The company started research for the second underwater tunnel in 2012.

Spanning 15.89km, the underwater road tunnel will begin from Huaihe East Road in the New District on the West Coast and will end at the port of Qingdao to join the East Coast.

Once completed, the tunnel will feature six two-way lanes and will link the coastal urban areas of Qingdao. It will be the second submarine tunnel in Jiaozhou Bay.

The tunnel project is said to be part of China’s large-scale urban infrastructure transport facilities development initiative aimed at supporting the country’s economic development.

Qingdao Conson Development president Wang Jianhui said: “The second submarine tunnel in Jiaozhou Bay will optimise the city’s urban structure and strengthen the connection between east and west, allowing both sides of the strait to flourish and soothe congestion.

“With the high standard design, build quality and management efficiency, Qingdao Conson Development is excited to contribute to the emergence of Qingdao as an open, modern, dynamic, elegant and international city.”

Last month, Danish planning company Femern reportedly initiated construction work on Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, which will connect Denmark and Germany.

CNN reported that the 18km-long immersed tunnel will entail an investment of more than €7bn ($8.2bn). It is claimed to be the world’s longest immersed tunnel descending up to 40m beneath the Baltic Sea.