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Fehmarn belt tunnel: Something big is being created!

Construction of the tunnel trench
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Construction of the tunnel trench


Short report about the visit to the mega construction site in Rødbyhavn (DK)

The stormy crossing from Puttgarden to Rødbyhavn takes 45 minutes: enough time for a Smoerrebroed and a strong coffee. The professional drivers, cross-border commuters and tourists enjoy this break and deceleration - still!

Scandlines Ferry<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

From 2029, the 18-kilometre-long Fehmarnbelt tunnel will replace this shipping route. It will be the longest immersed tunnel in the world. The Fehmarnbelt link significantly improves mobility for companies, tourists, cross-border commuters and all other travellers on both sides of the Belt. The journey through the tunnel will be only ten minutes by car and seven minutes by train.

Belt tunnel<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S


The entire tunnel – at a cost of around 6.6 billion euros – will be financed by Denmark alone, which will also be able to collect the toll revenue after completion. Germany will invest around 800 million euros to connect the tunnel to the German motorway and rail network. The temporary working harbour and the tunnel element factory at Rødbyhavn play a central role in the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. The materials for the production of the concrete tunnel elements can be delivered to the factory by ship. The finished tunnel elements are finally transported by tugs to the point in the Fehmarnbelt, where they are lowered and connected to each other. A construction site with a small temporary working port is also being set up on the German side. At Puttgarden, the German tunnel portal, i.e. the entrance to the tunnel, is being built.

Construction of the working harbour<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

From the ferry port in Rødbyhavn it is only a short walk to the information centre, where the individual steps towards the construction of the tunnel are explained using models and films. An observation deck provides an overview of the large construction site.

Information Centre in Rødbyhavn<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

The work will take place both on land and at sea. The tunnel elements are manufactured in a large factory the size of 140 football pitches. The factory consists of six production lines producing 79 standard elements, each 217 meters long, and 10 shorter special elements with built-in basement for technical installations. Production will run around the clock. In all years of production, several thousand people will be employed there. The factory is thus one of the largest production sites in Denmark.

Working port<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

Tunnel elements factory <br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

Before the elements of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel are lowered into the water, an 18-kilometre-long and approx. 12-metre-deep trench is dug in the seabed between Denmark and Germany. The excavation of around 19 million cubic meters of seabed is carried out by a fleet of dredgers and barges.

Construction of the tunnel trench 2 <br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

Excerpt from the annual report of the consortium FEMERN A/S Femern A/S has been commissioned by the Danish state for the planning, construction and operation of the Fehmarnbelt fixed link. This also includes the preparation of all documents required for the official approval procedures in both countries. The overall framework conditions for the company's work result from the State Treaty between Denmark and Germany signed in September 2008 on the planning, official approval, financing and construction as well as the operation of a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt between Rødbyhavn and Puttgarden. In Germany, the State Treaty became legally valid in 2009 through the adoption of a corresponding law in the German Bundestag and Bundesrat. In Denmark, the State Treaty came into force in April 2009 through the adoption of the "Act on the Planning of a Fixed Link over the Fehmarn Belt with Associated Hinterland Connection" in the Danish Parliament.

Tunnel cross-section <br>IMAGE SOURCE: Femern A/S

On 28 April 2015, the Danish Parliament adopted the "Act on the Construction and Operation of a Fixed Link over the Fehmarnbelt with Associated Hinterland Connections in Denmark". This Building Act also constitutes the environmental approval of the project in Denmark. On 31 January 2019, the planning approval authority in Schleswig-Holstein issued the planning approval decision for the Fehmarnbelt project. On 3 November 2020, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled on appeals against the planning approval decision. All appeals were dismissed by the court. Thus, the project is finally approved in Germany ...

Source: Ulrich Nieschalk

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