Denmark and Germany signed up last week for the construction of a $8.1 billion (€5.6 billion) road and rail bridge by 2018. This 19 kilometres (12 mi) long bridge will connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland across the Fehmarn Strait in the western Baltic Sea .
The bridge should replace the ferry services and air traffic between the two countries. Sea traffic will be possible underneath the bridge as the vertical clearance will be of 65 m (213 ft).
It will be a cable-stayed bridge with three 724 metres (2,375 ft) long spans, and four pillars about 280 metres (919 ft) tall. It will allow four road lanes and two rail tracks.
The project is comparable to the Øresund Bridge, the Great Belt Bridge or plans for the Strait of Messina Bridge and will be the largest planned infrastructure project in Northern Europe. The route is the main connection between Hamburg, (Hamburg Metropolitan Region), and Copenhagen/Malmö, (Øresund Region); (in German: Vogelfluglinie, in Danish: fugleflugtslinjen) as well as further destinations in Scandinavia. (Wikipedia)
From the total $8.1 billion (€5.6 billion), Denmark will pay €4.8 billion. Germany will only have to pay for the connexion between the bridge and its existing transport infrastructure. Denmark expects to be reimbursed for its expenses through user tolls.
Of course the bridge is very expensive, and Denmark will be transformed into a transit country for neighbouring (Norway and Sweden) exports to Germany.
In Germany, Leif Miller, the head of environmentalist group Nabu, said:
This insane project, which will cost billions, is risky from a global warming perspective and when it comes to protecting the environment and different species. We will stop the construction with all legal means available.
However in Denmark, where the construction of the bridge has been discussed for more than 20 years, some people see it another way:
It means a reduction in emissions of among other things CO2 (carbon dioxide) compared to if ferry traffic between Roedby and Puttgarden continued.