The Fehmarn Sound Bridge (German: Fehmarnsund Brücke), located near Grossenbrod in northeastern Germany, spans the Fehmarn Strait. It is a road and railway dual-use bridge, which started construction in March 1960 and was completed in April 1963.
Built during the Cold War, it is said that there are six places under the driveway of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge where explosives can be placed to blow up the bridge in time for a possible invasion. The bridge was built by engineer G. Fischer, T. of the company Gutehoffnungshütte Sterkrade AG, designed by Jahnke and P. Stein.
At the end of the 20th century, the International Association of Bridges and Engineering selected 15 bridges from thousands of bridges in more than 100 countries and awarded them the title of "the most beautiful bridge in the world in the 20th century", among which the Fehmarn Sound Bridge was included.
Size and Features of Fehmarn Sound Bridge
The Fehmarn Sound Bridge connects the island of Fehmarn on the Baltic Sea with the land of northeastern Germany. The road and railway of this bridge are on the same plane. One side of the bridge deck is a ballast-free railway bridge, and the other side is a two-lane highway bridge. The outermost side is the sidewalk. The distance between the highway centerline and the railway centerline is 9.60 meters.
The main span structure of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge is suspended by cables. The two steel arches are braced with steel cross-beams and reach 45 metres above the main deck of the bridge. The upper and inner sides of the two arch ribs are inclined to improve the overall torsional stiffness of the bridge. There are 80 cables in total with five different diameters. Cables with diameters of 69, 77, and 81 mm are used for highway arches, and cables with diameters of 81, 92, and 104 mm are used for railway arches.
Dimensions of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge
The total length of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge is 963.4 meters (3,159 feet), the main span is 248.4 meters (814 feet), and the side span is 102 meters. There are five spans at one end of the land and two spans at the end of the island. The full width of the bridge deck is 21 meters (70 feet), the 6 meters wide rail is a part of Lübeck–Puttgarden railway. The main span is 22 meters (72 feet) high above sea level, allowing ships to pass successfully.
|Total Length||963.4 m (3,159 ft)|
|Width||21 m (70 ft)|
|Height||67 m (219 ft)|
|Longest Span||248.4 m (814 ft)|
|Number of Span||7|
|Clearance Below||22 m (72 ft)|
The 963-meter-long sea-crossing bridge carries road and rail over the 1,300-metre-wide Fehmarn Sound. Although this bridge does not have a stunning size or an innovative structural design today, it represents the preeminent bridge-building technology of its time. Many people even mistake the bridge for 21st-century modern architecture. The Fehmarn Sound Bridge was declared a historic monument in 1999 by the State Office for Protection of Historical Monuments of Schleswig-Holstein and has become a symbol of both Fehmarn and Schleswig-Holstein.