Fehmarn Belt immersed tunnel first element (Photo Femern AS)

EUROPE: The first of 89 concrete elements which will be assembled to form the 18 km Fehmarn Belt immersed tube rail and road tunnel between Denmark and Germany has been cast at the production site in Rødbyhavn.

The 217 m element comprises nine 24 m segments and weighs 73 500 tonnes. The project will require 79 elements of this type, plus 10 special elements with space for technical equipment.

‘Casting such a large concrete structure has been a long and complicated undertaking, but we’ve now demonstrated that technology and methods interact well’, said Henrik Vincentsen, CEO of state-owned project promoter Femern A/S on May 6.

Immersion is planned for later this year.

Fehmarn Belt immersed tunnel element interior (Photo Femern AS)

Dutch companies Boskalis and Van Oord have now completed dredging of the tunnel trench, which took almost three years and involved up to 70 vessels. It involved the excavation of 15 million m3 of material — the equivalent of six Great Pyramids or 6 000 Olympic swimming pools — which has been used to create 300 ha of new land at Rødbyhavn.

The fixed link is expected to be completed by 2029, offering a transit time of 7 min by train and 10 min by car.