There will be no tunneling for the time being in the prehistoric stone circle at Stonehenge in England. The Supreme Court ruled in a case brought by the Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) group.
The British government last year approved plans to make a major upgrade to the A303 local road, a few hundred meters from the stone circle. The road will be moved, get more lanes, and build a 3.2 km tunnel.
With the renovations, the government wanted to boost traffic flow. The construction project, which would cost nearly two billion euros, was supposed to start in 2023 and would last for five years.
But activists were angered by the plans. They called it a sacrilege in which precious prehistoric landscapes are plowed and covered with asphalt and concrete. Supporters said the tunnel would make the Stonehenge highway invisible and the landscaping would do better.
According to the Supreme Court, the DOT has not looked closely at alternatives. There is also a need for better research into the project’s impact on the environment.
Stonehenge is world famous and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1986. The tunnel’s arrival could have brought about the end of that state. UNESCO Director Michteld Rossler recently said that recent developments in the area could be the first step in removing World Heritage status.
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