Germany-Denmark tunnel faces more delays

Construction on a planned tunnel under the Baltic Sea between the German island of Fehmarn and the Danish island of Lolland could be delayed by up to a year because of changes to the plans, authorities in north Germany said on Thursday.

Germany-Denmark tunnel faces more delays
A computer render of how the tunnel exit would look from the air. Image: Femern A/s/DPA

At a meeting with Danish transport minister Hans-Christian Schmidt in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein transport minister Reinhard Meyer said that both countries were determined to push the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link project through.

“Nothing has changed about that,” Schmidt added.

The 17.6-kilometre tunnel for road and rail traffic – expected to be the world's largest underwater tunnel when it opens – was originally expected to cost around €5.5 billion, with most of the costs borne by Denmark.

But officials have decided to change the plans for the tunnel drastically after a study found there was a high risk of legal action under environmental protection laws.


Construction was originally supposed to be completed in 2021, but successive delays have pushed that back to 2024 – and this latest setback may add yet more.

Around 3,100 objections from the German side must be taken into account in the new planning process, compared with just 30 from Denmark.

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