At present the Vogelfluglinie ferries travel between Puttgarden on the German island of Fehmarn and Rødby on the Danish island of Lolland. In the process, they cross the 19 km wide Fehmarn Belt. Alongside the route for the ferry link the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link is planned in the form of an immersed tunnel. This will result in the travelling time for train passengers being cut from 45 to 7 minutes and to 10 minutes for motorists. The train journey from Hamburg to Copenhagen will then take less than 3 hours rather than 4.5 hours as at present.
The 18.1 km long tunnel planned for the crossing – 17.5 km of which is in the form of an immersed tunnel – will possess five bores with various cross-sections, two for single-track rail links and two for road traffic each with 2 driving lanes and a hard shoulder per direction as well as an evacuation tunnel between the road tunnels. The immersed tunnel will consist of some 90 precast elements each 217 m long, 32 m wide and roughly 9 m in height, produced by industrial means at a specially set up plant at Rødby. In order to assure safety in the tunnel, it will be provided with lighting, ventilation, video monitoring, smoke removal and extinguishing water systems amongst other things.
After concluding the design and approval planning the plan approval application was handed in in October 2013. The reactions of the Danish public to the corresponding hearing have also been received so that the necessary construction legislation can be tabled in the Danish parliament at the end of 2014. During the plan approval phase the tendering documents will be prepared. Nine joint ventures have reached the second phase for awarding the four-part-contract sections. Construction is due to start in summer 2015 and completion scheduled for the end of 2021.⇥G.B.