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UK approves contentious road tunnel at Stonehenge

FILE - In this Sunday, June 21, 2015 file photo, the sun rises as thousands of revellers gather at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England. British authorities have approved a contentious road tunnel under Stonehenge _ but have altered its route so it doesn't impede views of the sun during the winter solstice, it was reported on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)
September 12, 2017 - 7:39 AM

LONDON - British authorities have approved plans for a contentious road tunnel under Stonehenge — but altered its route so it won't impede views of the sun during the winter solstice.

The government said Tuesday that the 1.8-mile (2.9-kilometre) tunnel will bury a road that now runs past the prehistoric monument.

It says the revised route will be 50 yards (meters) further from the giant stone circle than previously proposed "to avoid conflicting with the solstice alignment."

But critics say the tunnel will disturb a rich archaeological site. "Time Team" host Tony Robinson accused the government of "literally driving a thousand coaches and horses through the World Heritage Site."

Stonehenge, built between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C., is one of Britain's most popular tourist attractions and a spiritual home for druids and mystics.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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