this will be the gigantic tunnel that will connect Germany and Denmark

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When it comes to future Fehmarnbelt link it is difficult, very difficult, not to use the word pharaonic over and over again. Because it is. The conduit that will connect in a few years the islands of Lolland, in Denmark, and Fehmarn, in Germany, will be, from the outset, the longest submerged tunnel of the world. will measure 17.6 kilometers, will reach 40 meters under the waters of the Baltic at its deepest point and its construction budget around 7,100 million euros. Inside it will house two sections of motorway with double lanes and two electrified railway lines, as well as service galleries.

If he eurotunnel and seikan undergroundin Japan, are considerably longer—the underwater section of the former around 38 km and that of the second goes over 23 km—; but in the Baltic they have opted for a different formula. The future Fehmarnbelt tunnel will not proceed with the drilling of the seabed. First a trench will be dug and then prefabricated concrete and steel structures will be laid out. In total, it will incorporate 79 individual pieces and another ten smaller ones.

As detailed by those responsibleeach of the standard segments weighs about 73,000 tons and measures 217 meters long, 42 meters wide and 10 meters high. During construction, around 15 million cubic meters of sand and earth will be excavated from the seabed, and around 360,000 tons of rebar and a huge amount of concrete will be required.

Central and northern Europe, more united

To arrange all the pieces that will make up the structure, those responsible plan to open a groove at the bottom of the Baltic Sea about 60 meters wide and 16 deep. With that “bed” ready, the prefabricated segments will be moved with the help of tugboats, lowered and joined. When the structure is finished, the operators will focus on the interiors, taking charge of preparing the tracks, the communication systems, ventilation, pumps, electrification… The underground works started at the end of 2020 and the schedule foresees that they will be ready in 2029.

With technical deployment size, its footprint on the environment is considerable. Fermern notes that the project includes additional facilities on land in both Denmark and Germany and equipment for the works has been deployed in Rodbyhavn, on the Danish coast. The factory that will be responsible for manufacturing the 217-meter-long pieces is located on the Danish side, occupies a vast area that is equivalent to approximately 140 soccer fields and will employ thousands of people.

A few weeks ago The country published a report in which he echoed the misgivings of local authorities and environmentalists precisely because of the impact of the works, which will last throughout the decade and, they warn, could also affect tourism in Fehmarn. The position is not unanimous, of course. In Lolland the employment and affluence that the tunnel will generate was recently celebrated.

The great attraction of the Fehmarnbelt, however, is the link that will open between Germany and Denmarkbridging a gap between central and northern Europe. Fermern explains that, once it is ready, moving from Rødbyhavn, on the Danish coast, to Puttgarden, on the German coast, will require a journey of just ten minutes by train or seven by car. “Road users and rail passengers will save around an hour each way compared to the ferry. The link will be open 24 hours a day as it is not affected by wind or weather,” write down the company. Those who want to use the new structure, yes, will have to deal with tolls.

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The railway line, electrified, will be prepared so that the trains can reach 200 kilometers per hour. Its managers also ensure that, once completed, Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link will also be the longest combined road and rail tunnel in the world. “If today I took a train trip from Copenhagen to Hamburg it would take around four and a half hours. When the tunnel is finished, the same trip will take two and a half hours,” stood out at the end of 2020 Jens Ole Kaslund, technical director of the Danish company Femern A/S, to CNN.

Images and video | Femern

When it comes to future Fehmarnbelt link it is difficult, very difficult, not to use the word pharaonic over and…

When it comes to future Fehmarnbelt link it is difficult, very difficult, not to use the word pharaonic over and…

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