COPENHAGEN: German authorities on gave their approval to an $8 billion rail and road tunnel linking Denmark and Germany, despite environmental objections.
The 19 km (11.8 mile) Fehmarnbelt link, connecting the Danish island of Lolland to the island of Fehmarn on the German side, was due to be completed in 2024, but has been delayed by environmental protests in Germany.
Fehmarn is already connected by road to the German mainland, and the new link will greatly speed up road and rail connections from the German cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover to the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and the Swedish city of Malmo.
The project, priced at 52.6 billion Danish crowns ($8.1 billion), comprises a four-lane motorway and a two-track railway. It is part-funded by the European Union.
The company behind the project, Femern A/S, has 14 days to review the approval from the transport ministry of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein before it is signed.