BERLIN Germany and Denmark have agreed to build a bridge linking the two countries across the Baltic Sea in an effort to boost trade in the region.
"We have reached an agreement," German Transport Ministry spokesman Dirk Inger told reporters in Berlin on Friday.
Inger was speaking before a news conference to be held by Germany's Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and his Danish counterpart Flemming Hansen in Berlin.
According to media reports, the bridge will cost around 5.5 billion euros (3.7 billion pounds) to construct. Officials have said it will probably take around 10 to 12 years to build.
A bridge was proposed as early as the 1930s but plans have been scrapped several times due to a lack of financing.
The current plan follows the signing of a non-binding deal between Germany and Denmark three years ago to build a bridge.
The bridge would span the roughly 20 kilometre (12.5 mile) Fehmarn Belt in the western Baltic between the German island of Fehmarn and Lolland in Denmark. It is intended to speed the flow of goods between Hamburg and Scandinavia.
German environmental lobby group NABU said on Friday it planned to file a complaint against the project.
"We will do everything legally possibly to stop this bridge becoming reality," NABU spokesman Malte Siegert said.