Municipalities and ports in northern Germany and across Denmark have started competing to host construction sites for the planned 19-km fixed crossing across the strait, Fehmarn Belt, between the two countries. Construction lasting six years is forecast to cost up to $7.3 billion.

About three years before sitework is scheduled to start, the Copenhagen-based state company managing the project, Femern A/S, has published requirements for production and construction sites. Final site choices will be made by the companies that will handle three large contracts for the project.

Though a bridge is the expected form of crossing, Femern A/S is still studying a tunnel option. Nevertheless, “We know in general terms the scope and requirements of future production and construction sites,” notes the company’s managing director, Peter Lundhus.

German port operators on Rügen Island and the mainland reportedly are promoting themselves. Mayors of Lübeck and Kiel also have expressed interest. Ports in Malmö, Sweden and at Denmark’s Copenhagen and Kalundborg are strong candidates, having provided facilities for the Øresund and Great Belt fixed links.