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Ground breaking on Copenhagen’s Nordhavn new tunnel project: BESIX – MT Højgaard Joint Venture starts works

Ground breaking on Copenhagen’s Nordhavn new tunnel project: BESIX – MT Højgaard Joint Venture starts works

Copyright: Vejdirektoratet

On 11 May 2023, Danish Minister of Transport, Thomas Danielsen, Copenhagen Lord Mayor, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, and CEO of By & Havn (Copenhagen City & Port Development), Anne Skovbro ceremonially broke ground for the new Nordhavn tunnel project. The BESIX – MT Højgaard Joint Venture has been chosen as the project’s contractor. BESIX Group’s CEO, Pierre Sironval, and BESIX Group’s General Manager of the BU International, Mathieu Dechamps, were also present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Strong infrastructure is essential for sustained urban growth and the new Nordhavn Tunnel is set to improve accessibility for the ongoing development of the Nordhavn neighbourhood in Copenhagen, featuring ample housing and job opportunities.

The Nordhavn Tunnel will extend the existing tunnel, providing enhanced and more direct access to the urban development zones in both inner and outer Nordhavn in Copenhagen. The groundbreaking launching the start of the construction was celebrated with an event at the Nordhavn construction site on 11 May 2023, attended by about 100 people.

Danish Minister of Transport Thomas Danielsen, Copenhagen Lord Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, and By & Havn (Copenhagen City & Port Development) CEO Anne Skovbro – Copyright: Vejdirektoratet

With almost all preliminary work completed, construction on the tunnel can now proceed in full swing.

Danish Minister of Transport Thomas Danielsen stated: “The Nordhavn Tunnel extension will improve access for residents and commuters to and from Nordhavn while redirecting heavy traffic away from Østerbro’s streets. Furthermore, the tunnel is designed to accommodate future infrastructure decisions, such as the potential construction of an Eastern Ring Road.”

The City of Copenhagen will assume ownership of the tunnel upon its completion and is delighted that the project has commenced.

Lord Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen expressed: “The Nordhavn Tunnel will greatly benefit Copenhagen residents and contribute to the expansion of Nordhavn as a thriving neighbourhood with thousands of residents and jobs. It will connect the new neighbourhood 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 centre and improve air quality for Copenhagen residents.”

Close collaboration between Vejdirektoratet, the Danish Road Directorate, and By & Havn (Copenhagen City & Port Development) has been a cornerstone of the project since its start.

Danish Minister of Transport Thomas Danielsen (right) hands over a time capsule to Pierre Sironval, CEO of BESIX Group (left), which will be embedded into the foundations of the tunnel with a message for future generations – Copyright: Vejdirektoratet

Anne Skovbro, CEO of By & Havn, remarked: “The next stage of the Nordhavn Tunnel signifies a new era in the area’s development. The metro and cycle paths in Nordhavn are already functioning well. This tunnel will further facilitate road transport, including for trucks accessing the future container terminal and UNICEF’s global warehouse, and, of course, for current and future residents and workers.”

Spanning 1.4 kilometres, the Nordhavn Tunnel will offer more direct access to the urban development areas in both outer and inner Nordhavn. The project will also enhance access to harbour activities in the area and divert a significant portion of heavy traffic from Østerbro’s road network. Vejdirektoratet, the Danish Road Directorate, in collaboration with the City of Copenhagen and By & Havn, is overseeing the construction of the Nordhavn Tunnel, with BESIX – MT Højgaard JV serving as the project’s contractor.

Pierre Sironval, CEO BESIX Group: “We are pleased and honoured to be trusted by Vejdirektoratet, the Danish Road Directorate, for improving its infrastructure, while we have found in MT Højgaard a world-class partner to develop and deliver the Nordhavn Tunnel. Working on this infrastructure project in a country where we delivered the splendid Crown Princess Mary´s Bridge in 2019, also for Vejdirektoratet, is the validation of our position as a century-old infrastructure expert in Europe.”