France-Spain tunnel

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A cross-border tunnel opened between France and Spain through the western Pyrenees on Jan. 17. The 5.3-mile Somport Road Tunnel starts near Urdos, less than two kilometers south of Fort du Portalet on the French side, and emerges near Canfranc, the terminus for trains from Jaca in Spain.

Much controversy surrounds the building of the tunnel as environmental groups, who favored reopening a rail link instead, fear heavy traffic in the frontier will bring pollution and also threaten France’s last population of brown bears.

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A cross-border tunnel opened between France and Spain through the western Pyrenees on Jan. 17. The 5.3-mile Somport Road Tunnel starts near Urdos, less than two kilometers south of Fort du Portalet on the French side, and emerges near Canfranc, the terminus for trains from Jaca in Spain.

Much controversy surrounds the building of the tunnel as environmental groups, who favored reopening a rail link instead, fear heavy traffic in the frontier will bring pollution and also threaten France’s last population of brown bears.