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New fixed link over the Elbe

A new motorway link over the River Elbe is planned to ease the traffic flow around Hamburg. Feasibility studies will help to determine whether a tunnel or a bridge is the better solution.

A suspension bridge, a cable-stayed bridge, an immersed tunnel or a bored tunnel? This is to be determined by the feasibility studies into a new fixed link of some two kilometres over the German River Elbe at Hamburg.


The crossing over the Elbe is part of the A20, a new motorway from Lübeck to Bremen-Niedersachsen passing north west of Hamburg. The start of the construction works is planned for 2010 at the latest.

Bridge the size of the Great Belt Bridge

COWI is assisting the German engineering group which is undertaking the feasibility studies, and will focus its work primarily on a proposal for a bridge providing the fixed link.


"The Elbe carries vessels into Hamburg Harbour, one of the largest ports in Northern Europe. It is therefore important that the crossing will not impede navigation and this in turn means a bridge would have to be similar in size to the bridge over the Great Belt. The area being completely flat, this solution is not the most likely model, but all options will be investigated," says Andreas Galmarini, a civil engineer with COWI.


Alongside this work, COWI is responsible for helping to propose designs for the construction site for an immersed tunnel, installations and other features.


Well equipped for Fehmarn

In its bridge and tunnel designs COWI can draw on experience gained on projects such as the Great Belt Link and the Øresund Link to name but two.


"This means that we can carry out the task quickly and with focus on the critical areas, which is obviously an advantage in a context such as this when a decision needs to be made as to the nature of the fixed link,” says Galmarini.


By Janne Toft Jensen
Published: 18.04.2006

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016