Van Oord’s backhoe Simson dredged its first cubic meters last week on the impressive Fehmarnbelt Tunnel project in Denmark.
With a length of 18 kilometers this will be the longest immersed road and rail tunnel in the world, connecting Germany and Denmark.
Van Oord and Boskalis join forces in the Fehmarn Belt Contractors (FBC) consortium for this challenging project.
In fact, FBC has been contracted for constructing the work harbor at Rodbyhavn and for dredging the tunnel trench in the seabed.
“Backhoe Simson is a true muscle machine,” said Van Oord. “It is equipped with a 34 cubic meters bucket and can work at a dredging depth of up to 26 meters.”
Also, the total installed engine power is more than 4,000 kilowatt.
The Fehmarnbelt link will be built as an immersed tunnel between Rødbyhavn on Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn.
In contrast to a bored tunnel, an immersed tunnel is made up of hollow concrete elements, cast on land and assembled section by section to form the tunnel.
A trench for the tunnel must first be dug in the seabed in order to build the Fehmarnbelt link. This trench will be up to 60 meters wide, 16 meters deep and 18 kilometers long.
In total, some 19 million cubic meters of stone and sand will be excavated from the seabed. This will be used to establish approximately three square kilometers of new natural areas on Lolland and, to a lesser extent, on Fehmarn.