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It will be possible to get from Denmark to Germany in 2 hours ... under water!

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It will be possible to get from Denmark to Germany in 2 hours ... under water!

The construction of an amazing engineering marvel is finally beginning - the Fehmarnbelt Marine Tunnel, the longest submersible tunnel in the world! Approval and development of the project took almost 4 years, but the contract was finally signed. Let's estimate and fantasize what it will be like and how will it make travel easier for Europeans?

Grandiose idea

The Danes came up with the tunnel, and the initiative is punishable, so they bear most of the financial expenses. The development is carried out by the Femern A / S bureau, and for the construction they attracted the company Femern Link Contractors, where specialists from Denmark, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands work. Most of the elements will be performed by the harbor in the Danish city of Rødbyhavn.

The project became famous for its estimate, or rather, its optimistic recalculations. Initially, the tunnel was estimated at 8.7 billion €, but then the cost of its construction fell to 7 billion € - while maintaining the level of safety, contractors and architects managed to optimize its interior space.

To cross the strait, a submersible tunnel was chosen only in 2011 - instead of it, it was thought to build a cable-stayed or suspension bridge, a drilled tunnel. The huge underwater highway will be 18 kilometers long - more than 5 times longer than the Øresund connection between Sweden and Denmark! - and will connect along the bottom of the Baltic Sea (Fehmarn Belt, hence the name of the tunnel) the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn.

The Guinness Book of Records is already waiting for the completion of construction: the project promises to become the world's longest submersible tunnel and at the same time the world's longest combined tunnel (cars + trains).

Technical calculations and impressive scale

The maximum depth of the strait is 30 meters, and the foundation will be laid at a height of 16 meters from the sea day. For this, more than 19 million cubic meters will have to be obtained. ground and lay concrete pipe elements with a total volume of about 3.2 million tons. Only steel for the tunnel will require 50 times more than there is in the Eiffel Tower!

The first stage of construction is a trench on the seabed 60 meters wide, 16 meters deep and 18 kilometers long. By the way, the dug soil (stone and sand) will not disappear: it is used to create new natural zones on the islands (a total area of up to 3 square kilometers). Only then they will begin to install tunnel elements - there are 79 of them: these are hollow steel-reinforced concrete blocks 217 meters long and 42 meters wide each. An additional 10 "tubes" will be equipped with basements for maintenance and equipment placement. Each such "house" weighs almost 14 thousand elephants - 73 thousand tons! However, the blocks are lightweight and can even float in water: they are hollow and sealed with strong bulkheads. Thanks to this design, it will be easy to deliver them to the site by barges and tugs, and only then lower them to the bottom and connect them.

All work will be carried out in 2 zones at the same time, but limiting the movement of ships in this area.

Perspectives of the Fehmarnbelt Sea Tunnel

The Danish side will begin work in January 2021, the German side - a little later, from mid-2022, and the tunnel is planned to be completed by 2029.

Both cars and trains will be able to move along it - separate highways will be organized for them (four-lane and double-track, respectively). The car will be able to cross the strait in 10 minutes, and the train is even faster - in just 7 minutes: now the ferry ride takes about an hour. Europeans and tourists will be able to get to Copenhagen to Hamburg in just 2 hours, whereas now it takes about 5 hours.

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