Seamless connectivity provides great opportunities for people and organisations worldwide. All over the world, cities, regions and countries are being tied closer together, resulting in an increase in trading, efficiency and value generation for society at large. This means that decisions about where to locate buildings and infrastructure are determined by the position in relation to something else - and this is often a question of accessibility. We place things according to the quality of and access to transport flows.
"Presence in transport hubs is highly in demand - previously, these were road crossings, but now access to the international level counts. This makes easy access to major airways and intermodal transport hubs attractive," explains Christian Wichmann Matthiessen, Professor of Geography at Copenhagen University.
New opportunities for Fehmarnbelt region
When the Fehmarnbelt immersed tunnel opens, the significantly enhanced links between the main cities in Sweden, Denmark and Germany will improve mobility across the region.
This will form the basis for growth from Hamburg to the Copenhagen/Malmö region. By working across borders, strong scientific and commercial clusters will be able to attract international companies and investments.
"The Fehmarn link provides a wide range of possibilities. It will significantly reduce transportation times across the region. This will lead to growth and development both in the area where the link is located and in the two metropolises," says Christian Wichmann Matthiessen who has dealt with the Fehmarn project for several years, and headed an international team of researchers that has analysed the effects of a permanent link.
As it was the most environmentally sound and cost effective solution, Ramboll's innovative design for an immersed tunnel solution was chosen over a bridge, and we are now preparing the tender design and approval documents.
Securing European gas supply
In the same way as a well functioning transport network, a stable energy supply is also essential for the continuous development of our community.
In order to meet increasing gas demands and ensure a long-term reliable supply of energy, the Nord Stream pipeline was designed - establishing one of the European priority corridors for import of national gas. Nord Stream is a 1,224 km dual pipeline system running from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany, through the Baltic Sea. The pipeline represents a historic example of energy cooperation between Russia and Europe.
For Ramboll, the inauguration in November 2011 marked a successful conclusion to a long-term project. We were an important partner to Nord Stream AG in the planning, environmental impact assessment and permitting of the project, which involved the authorities in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Once in full operation in 2012, the Nord Stream pipeline will transport up to 55 billion m3 of gas per year, which is sufficient to supply more than 26 million households.
Developing strategic road networks
Improvements to the road network remain high on the European agenda, as this is a way to improve the free movement of goods and people. Within Finland, Sweden and Norway in particular, Ramboll has been extensively involved in the establishment of the Nordic triangle transport corridor, part of EU’s TEN-T road network, linking this region closer to the rest of Europe and beyond. Finland is committed to upgrading the entire E18 road to motorway standard by 2015.
The E18 route connects the growing areas in southern Finland with the metropolitan area, important export trade terminals and St. Petersburg in Russia. Recent E18 projects for Ramboll include the Koskenkylä–Kotka motorway, located east of Helsinki, where we are leading the consulting team (consisting of Sito Oy and Destia) that is responsible for the detailed design for construction. It is estimated that the 53km motorway will already be partially open to traffic in 2013.
In Sweden, the E4 Sundsvall forms an important part of the Nordic triangle. Ramboll has already delivered the detailed design for the motorway section stretching north of Sundsvallsfjärden for the Swedish Road Authorities, and we are now working on the preliminary design of the southern part for our long-term partner, construction company PEAB. This section comprises 17km of highway from Myhre to Sundsvall, and includes 26 bridges of various sizes. Once the preliminary design has been completed, we will be delivering the detailed design.