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Copenhagen’s New Nordhavn Tunnel – Commencing the Construction Process

Nordhavn Tunnel Route

On 11 May 2023, a new 1.4km long road tunnel that is due to link two neighborhoods in Copenhagen, Denmark, broke ground.

A new 1.4km tunnel that will be built beneath the Svanemølle Bay and the construction of a replacement harbor for around 600 boats in Færgehavn Nord, are the contents of the Nordhavn Tunnel project.

The aim of this new tunnel is providing better access from the center of Copenhagen to the Nordhavn neighborhood, where a rapidly developing 200ha former industrial shipyard on the city’s northern edge has been located there.

Considering that the final number of Nordhavn;s residents is estimated to be 40,000 people, need for more roads to and from Nordhavn is expected to be increased, while currently the only access to Nordhavn is by the Sundkrogsgade road.

The tunnel will be built on behalf of Copenhagen Municipality, which is also responsible for financing the project together with By & Havn and the future company for Lynetteholmen.

The responsibility of investigating, designing, and constructing the tunnel in 2014 was up to Vejdirektoratet, the Danish Road Directorateand in 2019 the approval process of construction of the Nordhavn Tunnel was done by the Danish Parliamen.

Project’s main contractor is a joint venture between the Belgian-French construction group Besix and Danish construction and civil engineering company MT Højgaard.

Construction of a temporary replacement harbor at Færgehavn Nord as part of the project is slated to be done by the Danish Road Directorate before starting the actual tunnel work. This temporary harbor will be location of around half of the approximately 1,500 boats in Svanemølle Havn, while the tunneling takes place below Svanemøllebugten.

Following completion of almost all preliminary work, construction on the tunnel has now started.

According to mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen’s speech at a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of tunneling operations on 11 May: “The Nordhavn Tunnel will greatly benefit Copenhagen residents and contribute to the expansion of Nordhavn as a thriving neighborhood with thousands of residents and jobs. It will connect the new neighborhood to the rest of the city and alleviate heavy traffic in Østerbro. Additionally, the tunnel will pave the way for a future Eastern Ring Road, which will reduce traffic congestion in the city center and improve air quality for Copenhagen residents.”

The scheduled date for inauguration of the tunnel is summer 2027 and the awarded budget for the entire project is £400M (DKK3.4bn).

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