World beating tunnels work together

Two of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects – set to take place more than 1000km apart – have signed an agreement to share innovations and best practice for mutual benefit.

Project representatives from the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will pass beneath the sea between Denmark and Germany, and the Brenner Base Tunnel, through the Alps from Austria to Italy, shook hands on the deal last Wednesday.

Fehmarnbelt is set to become the longest immersed tunnel in the world (18km) and Brenner the longest underground railway connection (64km) when they complete in the middle of the next decade.

Both tunnels are designed by the EU Commission as priority projects as they aim to remove bottlenecks that hinder trade and promote faster and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight. 

“Building a cross border mega project is a complex undertaking,” says Peter Frederiksen, chairman of Femern A/S which is the Danish owned project company responsible for planning and building the Fehmarnbelt project. “Each project is unique but there are also many areas where co-operation will be mutually beneficial.”

Brenner Base Tunnel chief executive Konrad Bergmeister added: “Learning from each other, exchanging knowledge and developing scientific based best practice are key elements for mega projects. We want to lead this positive exchange together.”