The world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel design, the Fehmarnbelt link gets a go-ahead. The 18 km infrastructure, the longest of its kind, connecting Denmark’s Lolland Falster region with Germany’s Schleswig Holstein region across the Baltic Sea will shorten the journey between both countries to just 10 minutes by car and seven minutes by train.
One of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects to date, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel project will not only reduce time on the road but will also help develop trade and tourism, generating a new gateway to Northern Europe. Built by Femern A/S, the project is a joint venture between VINCI Construction Grands Projets (lead company for the two tunnel contracts), Per Aarsleff (lead company for the portal contract), Royal BAM Group (with its three operating companies BAM Infra, BAM International and Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau), Solétanche-Bachy International, CFE, Dredging International and Max Bögl Stiftung & Co.
Featuring an electrified double-track railway and a four-lane motorway, the construction of the €7 billion project will take on hollow concrete elements, cast on land, and assembled section by section to form the immersed tunnel. Placed in a 60-meter wide, 16-meter deep trench, dug up in the seabed, the concrete elements will be “towed by large tugboats before being lowered down”. Moreover, portal structures, buildings, bridges, and ramps will be implemented.
Scheduled to open in mid-2029, the work on the Danish side is expected to start on January 1, 2021, after several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction on the German side is planned to begin around mid-2022.