What do you do once you’ve climbed to the top of the App Store with one of the most popular apps in the past decade and spawned a Star Wars spin-off, countless toys, and even a film? For Peter Vesterbacka, the marketing chief who oversaw the expansion of Angry Birds until 2016, you build a tunnel. One that’s mostly underwater and costs $18 billion, according to BuzzFeed News, which published a profile today of Vesterbacka’s costly effort.
More specifically, it’s supposed to be an 80-mile-long tunnel and a high-speed railway between Helsinki in Finland and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. (The idea for connecting these two countries dates back to 1871, BuzzFeed notes). Vesterbacka first broached the idea when he approached Estonia’s then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marina Kaljurand, at a dinner in Tallinn in May 2016. Since then he’s worked with two engineering companies with experience in building tunnels to start preliminary planning. They’re waiting for funding to be official before they begin construction, BuzzFeed reports. Vesterbacka envisions the tunnel creating one larger metropolitan area, cutting travel time between both cities from two hours on a ferry to 20 minutes on high-speed rail.
“Make a detailed plan, announce the Chinese partners and secure the funding, get the permits, start the drilling. That’s pretty much it,” Vesterbacka told BuzzFeed News. With all the permits and construction considerations, Versterbacka says a good and “realistic” date for the tunnel to open would be December 24th, 2024.