Germany and Denmark will soon be connected by the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, the world’s longest immersed tunnel.
Construction on the tunnel started in 2020 after more than 10 years of planning after the two European countries signed a treaty in 2008.
Since 2020, a temporary harbour has been constructed on the Danish side. The harbour will be home to a factory where the 89 concrete sections will be made. These concrete sections will make up the tunnel.
Henrik Vincentsen, CEO of Femern A/S, the state-owned Danish company running the project, told CNN that there is pressure on his team to reach the milestones.
“The expectation is that the first production line will be ready around the end of the year, or beginning of next year. By the beginning of 2024 we have to be ready to immerse the first tunnel element.”
Currently, people travelling between Germany and Denmark make use of a ferry service. The ferry service carries millions of passengers every year and takes about 45 minutes. In stark contrast, the same route will take only seven minutes by train and 10 minutes by car.
Although the English Tunnel is longer than the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, the major difference why the German/Danish connection is making headlines is because while the English Tunnel was made using a boring machine, its German/Danish counterpart will be built by immersing pre-built tunnel sections.
The tunnel is set to open in 2029 and will offer two double-lane motorways separated by a service passageway, as well as two electrified rail tracks.
Image credit: The Mayor EU