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The Insane Scale of Europe’s New Mega-Tunnel

Mar 07, 2024
This is one of the largest construction projects in the world, a $7.5 billion engineering feat that is going to transform travel across an entire continent and it's happening here on the sleepy German island of Hembra, let me explain, This is the medical scanning corridor, it is the northern access. of the trans-European transport network and stretches for almost 5,000 kilometers from Malta in the Mediterranean to the frozen Finnish tundra. Along the way he pierces the alpine mountains and crosses the sea, but he follows the route north and something strange happens instead of being able to go. Directly to Sweden you have to take this 500 kilometer detour through Denmark and it's all because of this, a stretch of water between Germany and Denmark is called the women's belt, so let's get this straight: a 55 kilometer

tunnel

is currently being dug through across a mountain in In Austria there is an epic bridge and

tunnel

.
the insane scale of europe s new mega tunnel
Link in Denmark and Sweden there is another huge bridge that connects two Danish islands, but we can't get over it. It may not seem like a big deal, but this modest water structure has thwarted the plans of the world's best engineers for decades until now. This is one of the largest construction sites in Europe. It will be the longest. The longest tunnel in the world. , there is no instruction manual to build something like this the fastest route between Scandinavia and Central I mean the rescue is that people never stop maybe they just overlook what your concerns are with this game they are just testing our nature we are building the Finnish belt tunnel between Denmark and Germany you may not hear a woman or a tunnel, but this is one of the most technologically advanced

mega

projects on The planet here is absolutely huge, like an airplane hangar, and in a certain way Mode embodies the power of construction and its ability to change our world.
the insane scale of europe s new mega tunnel

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the insane scale of europe s new mega tunnel...

Oh wow, this is absolutely amazing. You have those moments of infrastructure where they nail both engineering and architecture and coming together I saw it in Elizabeth Knight she did it very well beautiful railway I have the same feeling here I am currently driving over the Harrison Bridge one of the most incredible engineering fields in the world world probably one of its best infrastructure projects is this structure that joins the countries that links Denmark and Sweden, this is where the whole story begins, when this was being planned, Sweden had a great idea, so right now, to get there from Sweden to Central Europe, we have to take a train here in Malmo that takes you through the Arizona Crossing to Copenhagen, where you have to change to another train that will eventually take you to Hamburg and then to Germany, even on a high-speed train which takes five and a half hours and for freight trains it is even slower.
the insane scale of europe s new mega tunnel
Germany is Sweden's second largest exporter. market so it's a big deal the swedish government saw a shortcut here in the female belts so they told denmark they will help build the arizona bridge if they look at the possibility of a new fixed link in the waters behind me luckily that request was It is as scandalous as you might think, here is Denmark and this is the German island of fimon that gives its name to the femon belt. There has been talk of creating a railway between Hamburg and Copenhagen since the 19th century, but nothing really happened until the 1960s, when a bridge was built here, that route was then extended to a new ferry port in Put Garden, which took the trains to the water's edge.
the insane scale of europe s new mega tunnel
Surprisingly, the trains were then loaded onto ferries and taken through the female belts and into Denmark, it was all quite slow. the trains were not as fast as the ones we have today and the ferry took about 45 minutes. For years there was talk of the idea of ​​a fixed link between these two countries, a bridge or a tunnel, but it wasn't until Sweden tore down the But things got really serious. It was back in 2008 when the Danish and German governments first signed a treaty to begin work on the female belt fixed link. There was a lot at stake.
The idea was to replace the ferry with a new permanent crossing. It would have a four-lane highway and two rail lines serving both freight trains and high-speed passenger trains, and it would all be financed by Denmark, which would also collect the 12th bears and run the land businesses separately. Germany would improve the route from Put Garden. to Lubeck to allow new trains and traffic to pass through, which would also involve the construction of another much shorter tunnel to the German mainland here in Fiemann's Sound, it would be a generational improvement of the transport network, the corridor from Hamburg to Copenhagen would be transformed into a high-speed rail and road route, the Swedes would get their shortcut to the continent, a massive detour from the scammed corridor would be removed and that, in turn, would transform the wider trans-European transport network;
The only thing standing in the way was water, the most obvious solution being a bridge. This is what they came up with: a three-kilometer-long cable-stayed bridge that sits 65 meters above the water so ships could still pass underneath. It probably reminds you of the Urasand bridge and would have been similar. but almost three times as long and that is where the problems began, you see, the female belt is uncomfortable from there to there it is just under 20 kilometers and that is further than land and the bridge also had to cross the depth of water The Baltic Sea is just over 40 meters and the ground conditions are not good for building on it, all of which meant that the bridge would have needed spans of more than 700 meters and nothing like this had ever been built before for a bridge. combined road and rail bridge, the plan was for three huge pylons, each just under 300 meters high, the foundations of which would have to be built in the sea at a depth of up to 25 meters in poor soil conditions and a busy sea lane, and then you have an idea of ​​the hell that an engineer has.
As I have learned from my ferry ride, it is now windy, some of the largest bridges in the world, the Erison Bridge, the Chinook Lay Bridge in Turkey or the epic crossing of Hong Kong and Macau, all share a common trait: they all run more or less horizontally from east to west, a bridge crossing the woman would have had to go from north to south, meaning all the train cars and YouTubers trying to make a video would be hit by the prevailing winds which blow from west to east, so after careful consideration of the risk to the The cost overruns and technical complexities of constructing the bridge were firmly ruled out.
If you can't get through, you have to go under it, but that's okay because the Belt thing is a pretty good place for a wide tunnel. Now there are a few reasons. Why boar tunnels are cool, first of all, they don't disturb anything above ground, that's why they are usually used for underground railways in cities, but that's also cool for a place like fimon which has a delicate ecosystem which could take years to recover from all the disruption caused by building a bridge is expensive, but gets cheaper the further you go, so the team returns the possibility of a plank tunnel under the women's belt, but that's what hits a snack board.
Tunnels are excavated with a tunnel boring machine or tunnel boring machine. The width depends on the TBM, but something like London's new Elizabeth line used machines around 7 meters wide. They're good for something like an underground railroad because you have one track per tunnel, but FEMA needs a rail highway and one access tunnel which might mean drilling five. tunnels at five times the cost and that's not all. The surface of a train actually sits on the track and because its wheels are made of steel or at least they are in real life, there is very little traction on flat tracks, which is great, it's one of the reasons Why trains are so fast and efficient, but going uphill becomes a little more challenging, the average mainline train can go up 2.5 percent or one in 40, meaning that for every 40 meters of track the train can go up the FEMA belt one meter The tunnel is 40 meters deep.
Any deck tunnel would have to be 10 meters below that and incredibly long for a train to travel into it, pass under the ocean, and then successfully exit again on the other side. A shorter tunnel would create a train track that is incredibly steep and any train probably wouldn't make it, so a bridge was too difficult a plank tunnel was too expensive things didn't look good luckily there was one more option on the table the submerged tube tunnel now I know what you're thinking finally, another shot of Fred Bells on the beach, a frozen beach in the Baltic, the way this tunnel was built is pretty simple, first of all you create the tunnel segments in a nice dry factory in the earth and then instead of digging a deep tunnel under the Sleep in the bed, you just dig a trench at the bottom of the seabed, then take the elements of the tunnel and place them one by one, sing them together as you go and then you cover everything, thank you and hey, voila, you have a tunnel. it's a great solution for a place like fimon, you don't have to build a bridge where you will be subject to the wild weather and ocean, you would have to dig a deep tunnel which wouldn't really work for a railway and shipping tracks above remain open, keep going driving over the earth bridge and suddenly you hit an artificial island and then fall under the ocean.
I'm driving under walls right now. This is very, very cool, this is the Drogden Tunnel, that is. at IMT this is like a preview of what is going to be built in Fremont now some people have asked why go through the trouble of building a tunnel instead of an artificial island and bridge here at Arizona Crossing and it basically exists. due to Copenhagen airport due to height related restrictions around imts they are usually used for quite short distances such as rivers and ports this is one of the longest imts in the world and is only four kilometers the femon tunnel will be five times longer, which will make it an immense engineering feat, so how the hell do you build something that big?
Start here. I'm currently in Rugby Hound on the Danish side of the women's belt and on one of the biggest construction sites in Europe, it's all run by the Danes. The issue of the state company is and this place is so big that it took them two years to build the work area. The place is a hive of activity. There is a village with 1300 workers, a specially built port for material deliveries and the northern portal where. the tunnel through the surface but the star of the show is easily the huge building behind me this is the factory where the tunnel segments are to be manufactured it is one of the largest factories ever built in Denmark covering in total half a million of square meters, that is around 200 football fields.
These buildings are enormous because 89 enormous concrete tunnels 220 meters long and 40 meters wide will be built in them, so they can accommodate two railway tunnels, two highway and a service road. Initially, the team built a new work port on the coast so that materials could be brought to the site by sea, allowing them to build these massive tunnels. Factory buildings that will contain six production buildings. In total, once fully operational, these factories will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for three and a half years. The aggregates and materials will be delivered to the work port and then taken via conveyor belt to the factories here, each of which will be molded into the tunnel's 89 elements, but they are so large that they are actually made up of nine segments.
In fact, it takes 36 hours to pass one segment. It has a very, very detailed plan, like you're baking an advanced gnome cake. have the right temperature before you move on to the next layer, the next layer is not too cold, it's not too hot, it's not too wet, it's not too dry and then in 36 hours, they've done a segment and we have to make sure that the concrete is working. During the 36 hours, once a tunnel element is built, it will be taken out of the factory and brought here to the upper basin, where huge doors will be closed behind it, like a lock, the basin will be flooded and the ballast tanks will allow the element Floats and tugboats will move each element into the lower basin and then out to sea, then take them here where the ditch in which they will sit is currently sloping.
That is the first challenge that this project poses. They usually sit down. 20 meters deep This is 40 meters once the trench is ready. The next step in taking a 73,000 tonne concrete tunnel element to the ocean floor is not too difficult, its ballast tanks are simply flooded and gravity does the rest, but each element is achieved. getting to the right place is much more difficult throughoutthe entire 18 kilometer route they have to land 15 millimeters from their targets so that everything is airtight the elements of the tunnel are equipped with something called a Gina gasket at one end once placed in the trench next to it In another segment, water is pumped outside the space between the two bulkheads creating a partial vacuum that brings the two concrete elements together and the junior joint is crushed between them creating a seal.
Once all the elements are in place, the trench is filled and the tunnel is covered with gravel to protect it. At this point, nature takes over and eventually covers the gravel bed with sand. Then there's just a small matter of equipping everything with lighting, ventilation, a highway and a railway before everything opens in 2029. It's basically easy right, thank you, it's absolutely epic, its size is huge on paper, the process It looks logical and practical, but upon seeing it up close you can't help but feel overshadowed by the immense

scale

of both its ambition and engineering. is a production hobby that is freeProduction room where we will be melting the tunnel elements for the filter built tunnel.
This is one of the most advanced of the three. There are already 98 completed at the moment, as we are coming in, they are just busy installing the internal cranes, the formwork and everything. The equipment we need to melt the elements is absolutely huge, like an airplane hangar. You can easily park a 747 or two here. Wow, this was pretty fast. We have been working in the factory here, what we call PFA. the production facilities area for about a year, so everything you see here basically shot up out of nowhere over the last 12 months. What keeps these engineers up at night is not whether the foundations and calculations are correct, but the sheer logistics of getting it all done.
These tunnel segments built and offshore in an orchestrated manner there is nowhere big enough to store them, so as soon as they are made, they must be taken directly to sea to ensure that nothing stops the production schedule once. began Engineers have been practicing and perfecting almost every step of the process. Now I have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a test segment that was built. This behind me is just one of the railway tunnels at one end of a tunnel segment and you can see when I stand in front of it the immense

scale

of this project.
Well, this is our test bench where we are testing our production method, our shapes, our equipment and, of course, the concrete that we are going to use to cast the tunnel elements. What we are really learning is not even two real times. not even one and a half rail tunnels here the actual standard elements will be 42 meters wide but it is big enough for us to experience the scale problems involved in building something like Although there is no instruction manual for building something like this, as You know, we're learning as we go and we've learned a lot about the importance of communication between our teams and the way our concrete behaves during the pouring period and we're going to take all that knowledge and make a few more smaller scale molds before we let the real business begin at the end of the year.
What is being built here is proof of how construction constantly learns and evolves 30 years ago, when the Urison Bridge was built. Planning a tunnel like this would not have been considered feasible. The principles of this construction task are the same as any other tunnel from Sweden to Hong Kong, but our knowledge and skills have now advanced to a level where we can go deeper and further than ever before. Before, when this tunnel is completed in 2029, thousands of cars and hundreds of trains will pass through it every day and that will be a game changer not only for Denmark and Germany but for the entire continent, but it all costs a lot of money. 7.5 billion dollars, of which 500 million come from EU subsidies and the rest comes from a loan backed by the Danish state.
Crucially, Danish taxpayers will not have to spend a single penny now that the cost of the tunnel will be repaid over time by revenue from car tolls, with the car likely to be charged about the same as the ferry, about 100 euros to use the tunnel, and it is predicted that Denmark could receive around 4 billion US dollars in profits during the first 50 years of the tunnel's life, so improving infrastructure, creating green travel corridors and thousands of millions of dollars in profits, what could be the problem. Ah, it's not just the issue of the geography of the belt that this construction team has had to face against activists on the German side of the tunnel. sea ​​have fought tooth and nail over the last decade to prevent the construction of a permanent crossing.
He came here when he was a child. It is the sunniest place in Germany, although it is a little colder than in the south. It is one. one of the sunniest places in Germany and so far it is very quiet. You have a landscape. You have the free ocean. You can swim. You can practice water sports. This is the downside of massive construction projects. Any new

mega

plan has to be built somewhere, whether in a virgin forest in the middle of a city or on a quiet German holiday island, whether you like it or not, it will have a massive impact, they are just testing our nature, they are just testing the foundations. for our economy and that is testing the foundation for the ecology that we have here some people are concerned about the impact that this construction project will have on the unique ecosystem of the female belt marine life in this area of ​​the Baltic Sea thrives in conditions of clear water and The concern is that digging the trench for the tunnel will disturb the ecology of the females is very diverse.
Cloudiness on the female bed will reduce the growth of plankton macrophytes and, of course, will have repercussions on all living fauna and marine flora. As they say sedimentation is one of the most monitored environmental impacts on this project, they say they use special dredging machines to minimize spillage and have patrol boats and monitoring stations around the dredging site to collect data on water clouding, This and other environmental data are published. in real time on Fremont's website in an attempt to improve transparency around construction, but it's not just the marine environments that Hendrick and Isabel's organization is concerned about, an important feature that has been touted with this new tunnel is its ability to create a kind of green link with the continent femon as they say that because the distance between Hamburg and Copenhagen is shortening thousands of vehicles will have to travel 150 kilometers less, the new rail service will take the load off the trucks and will put it on freight trains and the new rail link It will make taking the train a more attractive option, as well as wanting to improve freight connections.
Swedes are also very interested in avoiding something called a flu strike. It's the blue strike. Flu strike and they practically want to make taking the train easier than flying. As possible, that idea is gaining ground in April 2022. France banned all internal flights of less than two hours and other countries are considering doing the same if that is going to be successful, then good high-speed rail connections like this They are essential, but and this is a big but. Building something as ambitious as the Women's Tunnel carries a huge carbon footprint, mainly due to the large quantities of concrete produced.
The manufacturing of these concrete tunnels alone will produce 2 million tons of female carbon dioxide, as the female belt tunnel is said to be a generational investment. in a greener and climate-friendly transport corridor in Europe, once completed, the tunnel will make a significant contribution to the green trans-European traffic corridor by creating a 160 kilometer shortcut that will create a viable alternative to air traffic and move freight from trucks to electrified freight trains. They added that they are making a concerted effort to reduce the CO2 footprint of construction, but that it is not possible to build at this scale without causing some emissions.
Just one of the initiatives is our commitment to use 100 renewable energy sources for the construction and operation of The Fremont Tunnel is beautiful and you should keep it that way, without turning it into a transportation site. The structure comes into contact with the natural world. How not? That doesn't mean concerns should be put aside. It's not like that either. It means that we should never build infrastructure again. What Isabelle expresses are legitimate concerns of people living on the doorstep of one of Europe's largest construction projects. When there is a good cause for a new megaproject, it is important that project teams listen. concerns and work to reduce the impact of their work on people's lives and the environment as much as possible, that is something this project has set out to do from the beginning.
Most construction activity is taking place on the less populated Danish side of the water and new habitats are being built. built to compensate for the land now occupied by the factory. Foreign critics of the fixed link say the entire project is speculative and there is no way to definitively confirm whether or not it was worth the money. That is true and is the case with almost all other infrastructure. Mega project the same thing was said about the eurozone bridge and now it is a revered structure on which millions of people depend. Tourism is a big part of this island's economy and could be affected during construction, but could benefit in the long run.
Improved connectivity over the next decade will tattoo a new route on this part of the map and for people who use it its convenience will quickly erase any memory of the enormous effort it took to achieve it. The bridge behind me is 60 years old and links the other side of Fear to the German mainland, it was vehemently opposed when it was first built, but now, with another new tunnel being built under this stretch of water, people are worried For their future, they worry that they could fall. disused or even in poor condition, that for me is the story of modern infrastructure.
Yes, these products are difficult and controversial to realize when they are first built, but they continue to have a decisive impact on all of our lives. The new tunnel under the female belt. will impact millions of people across this continent for decades to come. Any of the controversies surrounding its construction will probably be forgotten and the extraordinary engineering that went into it was taken for granted, as always guys if you enjoyed this video and want more from it. the ultimate video channel for construction be sure to subscribe to b1m

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