The casting of tunnel elements for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, connecting Rødbyhavn in Denmark to Puttgarden in Germany, has begun, signaling a major milestone in the project. This achievement comes after approximately two and a half years of construction on the world’s largest precast concrete element factory in Rødbyhavn.
Key Stage Reached in Fehmarnbelt Project
The Fehmarnbelt project has reached a significant stage in its history with the commencement of tunnel element casting. The past few years were dedicated to constructing the tunnel element factory in preparation for this phase. Now, the first 24 meters of the 18 km-long immersed tunnel have been successfully cast, bringing the project closer to completion.
Jens Ole Kaslund, Technical Director of Femern A/S, the client organization, expressed the importance of this achievement: “This is a very decisive moment and a major milestone in the Fehmarnbelt project.” The construction of the factory, work harbor, and tunnel portal have been done, but now the casting of elements for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel has officially commenced.
Femern Link Contractors (FLC), the main contractor responsible for the tunnel element factory, has meticulously prepared for the casting of the first segment. Sebastién Bliaut, CEO of FLC, emphasized the importance of optimal preparation for a smooth casting process: “Our preparations for the casting of the first segment have been very thorough, ensuring that the team and processes are well-prepared to ensure a successful casting.”
A total of 89 tunnel elements will be cast, with 79 being standard elements measuring 217 meters in length, 42 meters in width, and 9 meters in height. Each standard element consists of nine castings or segments, approximately 24 meters long. The first segment, out of the 711 total segments, has now been successfully cast, marking a significant step forward.
Projected Timeline and Opening Date
The first tunnel element is expected to be immersed in the Fehmarnbelt in 2024, taking its place in the specially dredged tunnel trench. More than 90 percent of the dredging operations have already been completed. Production of the tunnel elements will continue until 2027, with the final element for the Fehmarnbelt link anticipated to be ready by then. The Fehmarnbelt link is set to open in 2029, providing enhanced connectivity between Denmark and Germany.