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Building of the new Weser Tunnel as part of the Federal Highway B 437

The Weser Tunnel represents the core of the building of the new federal highway B 437 as a cross-link between the B 212 on the western side of the River Weser and the BAB A 27 motorway on the eastern one. It passes below the federal waterway – the Weser - between Dedesdorf and Kleinensiel. Traffic must be kept flowing over 1 lane per direction both in the event of repair and maintenance work as well as during operational hold-ups. As a consequence, the tunnel is designed with 2 separate tubes. For ecological reasons, a construction method which conserved the groundwater was demanded. A fluid-supported shield is being used to head the tunnel. The shield diameter amounts to 11.70 m. A rock crusher located behind the cutting wheel can crush boulders of up to 0.90 m diameter to enable them to be transported further. 50 cm thick reinforced concrete segments of strength class B 55 and a ring width of 1.50 m are used for the tunnel's monocoque lining. A complete ring comprises 6 elements and a keystone. The ring joint is designed as a tongue and groove system with a continuous sealing profile made of neoprene. The segments are produced in the consortium's factories at Hamminkeln/Lower Rhine and in Berlin. 4 crosscuts are to be set up between the 2 tubes for escape and rescue purposes. The crosscuts are headed by mining means using shotcreting from the completed tubes protected by a frozen zone. The 40 cm thick inner shell is made of watertight reinforce concrete. The tunnel passes through interbedded peat, clay and sand layers of coastal Holocene at depths of 1 o to 30 m. Pleistocene clay and sand layers are to be found underneath. Larger stones are occasionally encountered.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Niedersachsen
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Road tunnel
  • Client: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • Architect: Babendererde Ingenieure GmbH, IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Spiekermann GmbH & Co. Beratende Ingenieure
  • Contractor: Hochtief AG, Philipp Holzmann AG, Ludwig Freytag GmbH & Co. KG, Heinrich Hecker GmbH & Co. KG, Martin Oetken GmbH & Co. KG
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Shield machine (SM)
  • Lining: Reinforced concrete segments
  • No. of tubes: 2
  • Tunnel total length: 2 x 1,650 m plus 2 ramps, each 350 m long
  • Diameter: inner diameter 10.30 m, shield diameter 11.70 m
  • Cross-section: 107.5 m²
  • Contract Volume: 300 mill. DM
  • Construction start/end: 1997 to 2001
  • Opening: 2002