Tube strikes bridge: Denmark wants to tunnel under the Fehmarn Belt for more than five billion euros. The parties have agreed to the country almost unanimously. From 2020 it will probably give a firm connection to Schleswig-Holstein – where the celebration is limited.
Hamburg – It is something like the final preliminary round: Denmark wants to build a Baltic Sea Tunnel to Germany. On Tuesday agreed in Copenhagen seven to eight parliamentary groups of the proposal to the government.
The construction of the tunnel is scheduled to begin in 2014, the opening is planned for 2020. Overall, he is made of three tubes: two four-lane highway and a third for a two-track for a railway line. Until now operate between the Danish and German Puttgarden Rødby only ferries on the crow flies. "
New, the project of a Fehmarn Belt Bridge is not. Initial plans were already in the twenties of the last century. For a long time, it was almost as experience shows, that a bridge linking the two places. It almost would have given a new landmark for the region: A building with 272 meters high pylons and two floors – the top of cars down the track.
Longest immersed tunnel in the world
But conservationists on the other hand made mobile. The connection crosses a nature reserve, the bridge would have disturbed important bird flight paths and the pillars probably affects the ocean currents. Against the tunnel, there are objections. Because the soil slurry is stirred up. Whether to return for seals, whales and seals the end of the construction work, is open.
In fact, Denmark will build on the approximately 18-kilometer track is nothing less than the longest immersed tunnel in the world. As in the Elbe tunnel in Hamburg, the individual elements are built on land and then sunk to the seabed. In the German-Danish Baltic Sea Tunnel to the individual tubes of concrete each 200 meters long and 70,000 tons to be difficult. Each of them has the size and weight of a supertanker.
May the cost to the environment at the tunnel even lower, the question of meaning and purpose of the entire project will be the same. For Denmark, the fixed Fehmarn crossing the last missing element in the most important and most expensive construction project in its history.
The largest island where the capital Copenhagen and so are also the economic center is to the west with the Danish mainland, in the east to Sweden and the south are connected with Germany. The inner Danish Great Belt Bridge is in operation since 1998, the year 2000, the Øresund connection followed by Sweden.
Tunnel will be cheaper as a bridge
And in ten years is now the last large water content, train and truck to be compatible. Almost a fifth of its total trade with Germany, Denmark operates. For exporters, the Federal Republic is much easier to achieve by 2020.
This applies also vice versa. But Denmark is the Export-runner-up only a minor role. Just over 1.5 percent of all exports go to its northern neighbor. have terms of importance as a trading partner, the German economy a greater interest in a bridge across the Atlantic than over the Fehmarn Belt. The federal government therefore from the outset a clear position: "Danes love the thing down quietly, but paid it." And indeed, according to Denmark financed treaty of 2008, the cost alone.
The tunnel is as calculated by the Company Femern A / S, the construction and operation to it and indirectly to the Danish Ministry of Transport is one less, at 5.1 billion euros to 100 million euros as the bridge. The EU could shoot up to 1.1 billion euros. The remaining construction costs will be funded by toll revenue by 2050. What speaks for the tunnel: it creates jobs in Denmark concrete industry, and not like an economic recovery plan for Asian steel mills.
Infrastructure Update overdue
Without any financial commitments, but Germany could not wriggle out of. Thus, the federal government has committed to electrify nearly 90 km railway line between Lübeck and Puttgarden and later expand two tracks. In addition, the access roads to Fehmarn be significantly improved.
The cost of both infrastructure updates are at 800 million euros, says the Federal Government. The Federal Court is derived from the double sum, opponents of the Belt-crossing of even more.
Whether the whole project is economically, it argues the referee. As always, there are studies that prove particularly the benefits and increasing commuting to a tourist boom to predict anything. And then there are the other designs that can not see any positive effects.
It is undisputed that the rail link between Lübeck and Puttgarden needed a jump from the Empire into the 21st century can tolerate. The trip takes one track through villages and pastures, it takes an hour and is operated mainly by rather dingy trains. That should change with the investment in Germany and the construction of the tunnel.
Final decision until 2013
Overall, the railway trip from Hamburg to Copenhagen shortened from the current four and a half hours to one hour. The same applies to the drive, which today still takes about four hours.
What sounds like progress, for the resorts on Fehmarn and many seaside resorts in the Bay of Lübeck either a regress or the sheer horror. The places covered with concrete beams often have the stink of the seventies. In the future, could the tourists like to drive through Denmark. Even Fehmarn about a tunnel to the north east is not a natural stop, but a highway exit of many.
Also fear the seaside resorts, a drastic increase in traffic. More cars, hundreds of meters of ICEs and dozens of freight trains could impact quality of life. No wonder that has formed the resistance against the project long ago. The opponents do not yet bridge tunnel. It is best left everything as it is.
After the decision on Tuesday is the advocates of the status quo one last hope: the final approval for the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Bridge is in Copenhagen until 2013, after completion of the environmental impact assessment. It speaks, however, the evidence suggests that this is only a mere formality Fehmarn.