The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link is a
planned 18-km immersed tunnel between Rødbyhavn in Denmark and Puttgarden in
Germany, making it the longest immersed tunnel in the world. It comprises a
four-lane motorway and dual track electrified railway. The project also
includes upgraded rail and motorway connections from Ringsted to Rødby in
Denmark and from Puttgarden to Lübeck in Germany.
The construction of the tunnel between Denmark and Germany will be carried out
in several phases over a number of years. Comprehensive planning work, along
with feasibility and environmental studies, have been carried out in connection
with preparations for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. The
construction of the tunnel and associated landworks will begin when final
approval of the project is received from the Danish political parties
supporting the project, when contracts have been signed with the contractors
and when the German authority’s approval is available. The project is divided
into several phases.
Site preparation: An area east of Rødbyhavn will be prepared for the project.
The area includes the location for the production of the tunnel elements and
accommodation for the construction workers. The work includes the preparation
of roads to and from the production facilities.
Construction of the production facilities and associated working harbour: A
factory will be built east of Rødbyhavn for the manufacture of the 89
steel-reinforced concrete elements from which the tunnel will be constructed.
Accommodation for the tunnel workers will also be built.
Construction of working harbors: Working harbors will be build on both Fehmarn
and Lolland. This will be used for the shipping of the large quantities of
building materials to be used for the construction. The working harbor in
Rødbyhavn on Lolland will by far be the biggest of the two, as the production
of tunnel elements are taking place on Lolland. It is anticipated that the
Danish working harbour will receive approximately six shiploads a month. The
harbor will also be used for when the finished tunnel elements are towed out to
Dredging work will take place in the Fehmarnbelt: The dredged trench from
Denmark to Germany needs to be 17.6 km long, up to approximately 90 m wide and
16 m deep. This is where the tunnel elements will be immersed, connected and
covered. Surplus material from the dredging will be used for the construction
of new coastal areas near Rødbyhavn and to a limited extent on Fehmarn.
Building the portal facilities: Construction of portal facilities on the
Danish side and on the German side comprising the down/up approaches to the
tunnel. The portal facilities will connect the tunnel railway and motorway with
the upgraded and partly newly built roads and railways in the hinterland.
Production and assembly of the tunnel elements: The 89 pre-cast tunnel
elements will be produced at the factory in Rødbyhavn and towed out to the
Fehmarnbelt on an ongoing basis. Contractors will immerse the elements one by
one and assemble them from the coasts and out toward the middle of the belt
from both the Danish and German sides.
Installing the technology and equipment: Femern A/S will build the motorway
and railway installations and all necessary technical and mechanical equipment
in the tunnel.
Testing and opening: Equipment and safety and contingency procedures will need
to be tested and approved before the finished tunnel becomes operational. The
affected land and coastal areas will be re-established, while the tunnel
element factory and working harbour will be demolished.
New recreational coastal areas: Most of the dredged soil from Fehmarnbelt will
be used to build new recreational areas of the coasts of Lolland and Fehmarn.
The new landscape will be shaped by beaches and dunes as well as both wet and
dry natural and grazing areas of both recreational and biological benefit. The
new land areas will be built from the dredged soil from the construction of the
tunnel, production sites and work harbors. Some of the land area to be
established on Lolland will compensate for the loss of existing natural areas
arising from the project.
The land areas will be created on an ongoing basis as the soil from the seabed
is dredged. On both Lolland and Fehmarn, they will generally extend around 500
m into the Fehmarnbelt. This is about the same distance from the shore as the
piers of the existing ferry ports at Rødbyhavn and Puttgarden.
The Fehmarnbelt link will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel, but the
techniques are proven. The Øresund tunnel was built in the same way.