A computer-generated image shows the planned bridge across the Fehmarn Belt between Denmark and Germany.
The Danish parliament has carried a bill to build a bridge over the Fehmarn Belt between Denmark and Germany with a majority of 104 votes in favour and only three against.
Transport Minister Lars Barfoed said the vote is "an historic decision that will connect the Nordic region -- and thus Denmark -- with the rest of the European continent."
Denmark is currently connected to the European continent across its Great Belt Bridge between the capital island of Zealand, over the island of Funen and to the Jutland peninsula, the northernmost region of mainland Europe. Another bridge across the Sound connects the Danish capital Copenhagen with the southern Swedish port of Malmö.
Construction of the Fehmarn bridge is expected to start in 2012 and to be finished in 2018. It is expected to be built with two railway tracks and a four-lane motorway, taking motorists some 12-15 minutes to cross. At 20 kilometers, it will be Denmark's longest bridge over water, beating the Great Belt Bridge by two kilometers and the bridge across the Sound by four kilometers. The bridge is expected to cost in the region of 33 billion Danish kroner (4.43 billion).
The current hour-long crossing between Denmark and Germany across the Fehmarn Belt takes place on ferries between the southern Danish ferry terminal at Rødby and the northern German terminal at Puttgarden.
Edited by Julian Isherwood
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