Fehmarnbelt will link Denmark and Germany while the Brenner Base Tunnel joins Austria and Italy. Both projects have been designated priority projects by the EU Commission, as they aim to remove bottlenecks that impede trade, growth and cross-border cooperation, and promote faster, more efficient and environmentally friendly transport of passengers and freight across Europe.
The two face different technical obstacles - one crosses a sea and the other a mountain range. But they share many of the same challenges that very large infrastructure projects experience when it comes to interaction with the surrounding communities and compliance with the legal and regulatory framework in two different countries.
On Wednesday 21st September, representatives from the project companies, and members of the two regional development organisations signed the agreement on mutual co-operation.
The agreement is intended to allow the two projects to share experiences and learn from each other. This applies to technical and scientific innovations, communication initiatives and joint projects by the employees of the two projects.
"Building a cross-border mega project is a complex undertaking,” said Peter Frederiksen, chairman of Femern, the Danish state-owned project company tasked with the planning and construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. “Each project is unique, but there are also many areas, where co-operation will be mutually beneficial. We look forward to sharing experiences with our partners at the Brenner Base Tunnel.”
Brenner Base Tunnel CEO Professor Konrad Bergmeister added: “Learning from each other, exchanging knowledge and developing scientific based best practice are key elements for mega projects. This must be the spirit of a growing together European civil society and we want to lead this positive exchange together with our friends along the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor.”
The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link is a planned 18km immersed tunnel between Rødbyhavn in Denmark and Puttgarden in Germany. It comprises a four-lane motorway and dual-track electrified railway. The project also includes upgraded rail and motorway connections from Ringsted to Rødby in Denmark and from Puttgarden to Lübeck in Germany.
The Brenner Base Tunnel is a 64km dual track railway tunnel through the Brenner Pass. The BBT will run from Innsbruck in Austria to Fortezza in Italy, replacing the current railway.