Did you know that building a bridge is not just all about putting up the structure? That’s right. Building a bridge is actually a complex process especially if it’s going to be a major infrastructure that connects two countries and therefore is expected to last for a long time.
Take the case of the Fehmarn bridge that will link Denmark and Germany. An agreement was reached in 2007 between the governments of the two countries concerned to build a bridge 18 kilometers long across the Fehmarn Belt. The construction which is set to begin in 2011 will take seven years. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2018.
As a major infrastructure, the bridge will be designed to last for 100 up to 150 years. For this reason, an important aspect in construction has come up and this concerns climate change. The question about climate extremes during the span of 100 years is highly being considered in designing the bridge.
To provide a valuable insight on this issue, the Danish-German project group is getting the help of 10 of the United Nation’s Baltic Sea experts. Also to help out are members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The head of research at the Danish Meteorological Institute has said that the Fehmarn Bridge is facing north-south. This means that it is exposed to the westerly wind that occurs in the area for an estimated 300 days each year. Not considering this issue, he said, will only lead to bridge closure for many days.
Technical experts need to discuss the latest development on this aspect as the very latest report on climate change from the IPCC was issued in 2007 yet. The next report is expected in another three years and the Fehmarn Bridge could no longer wait for it. The UN experts are the best people who can give advice on this for the moment.