The 18km Fehmarn Belt tunnel

The 18km Fehmarn Belt tunnel

A joint venture consisting of Danish engineering and design consultancy Ramboll, UK-based Arup and Dutch company Tunnel Engineering Consultants (TEC) are responsible for the design of the 18 km Fehmarn Belt tunnel planned to link Germany and Denmark.

The Danish Parliament on 2 February selected the Ramboll-led tunnel option for the Fehmarn Belt Crossing instead of original proposals for a cable-stayed bridge.

The € 5,1 billion project is state-funded. The planning phase is being undertaken by Femern, a special vehicle set up by Sund & Bælt Holding, which is 100% owned by the Danish Transport Ministry.

The tunnel will be made up of 89 sections and contain a four-lane motorway and a double-track railway. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, while tunnel opening is scheduled for 2020.

"It is an historic piece of European infrastructure," Ramboll said. "The Fehmarn will be by far the longest immersed tunnel anywhere in the world - its closest rival is the BART Tunnel in San Francisco, at 5,8 km. It is also one of the deepest, at an immersed depth of 40 m," the company said.

Ramboll said the consortium won the design tender for the project because it was able to deliver a more optimised solution for the tunnel option than had originally been deemed possible by taking a fully-integrated approach to the structural and services design of the tunnel.

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