An 18-kilometer-long underwater tunnel under the Baltic Sea between Germany and Denmark. This is one of the new major European construction works, conducted by Vinci, and whose construction is expected to extend until 2029. Let us take a closer look at this gigantic building project!
The Femern tunnel project is a €7 billion contract, of which €3.8 billion is for Vinci alone. This project had been under study for several years, but authorizations were only granted in the last few weeks. This tunnel will link the German peninsula of Fehmarn and the Danish port of Rodby in only 10 minutes, compared to 1 hour by ferry currently. It will then be open to cars, trucks and trains.
The Femern tunnel will not be dug into the bottom of the Baltic Sea. It will consist of depositing prefabricated concrete structures at a depth of 35 meters. 89 pieces of tunnel will be constructed and assembled, each measuring 216 meters and weighing 72,000 tons. For this purpose, the Danish production plant will be located nearby, in order to keep the distances and transport costs of the segments to a minimum. The segments will be transported by two catamarans built especially for the occasion, before being installed at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Preliminary work will start in early 2021, but considering the size of the project, 3 years of studies will still be necessary. Indeed, when completed, the Femern tunnel will be the longest submerged road and rail tunnel in the world! Upon delivery, it will allow the development of trade and tourism in Northern Europe.
The development of the infrastructure sector in Europe:
Like the Femern Tunnel, currently one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe, the infrastructure sector is witnessing the emergence of new projects and numerous investments.
As part of its cohesion policy, the EU adopted in 2019 an investment program of €4 billion for 25 major infrastructure projects in 10 member states, mainly Eastern and Southern countries. The projects cover a wide range of areas: health, transport, research, environment, and energy. Together with national co-financing, the total investment in these projects amounts to €8 billion.
In addition, other major European projects are under construction or under study, such as the Lyon-Turin transalpine rail connection, with an estimated cost of €20 billion, a project for floating tunnels in the Norwegian fjords, which would cost about €35 billion and is not expected to be completed before 2050, or the project of a wind farm in the North Sea, with an estimated construction cost of €1.5 billion and which will also not be completed before 2050.
For 2021, Surfeo is now turning to the European infrastructure sector and its players, to support them in these projects that will change the Europe of tomorrow!
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