Ship tunnel in connecting canal 11 (Ilse Canal) Senftenberg

A sensible alternative

Europe’s largest artificial water landscape in the former Lusatian lignite mining district now includes nine lakes connected by navigable canals. Connecting canal 11 from the Großräschen Lake to Lake Sedlitz crosses under three railway tracks, a highway and a service path. After flooding, the ship tunnel built for this will be the first of its type in Germany navigable by vessels from motorboats up to passenger liners.

As no set of regulations exists for fire safety concepts for waterway tunnels, KREBS+KIEFER proposed that the systems contained in the guidelines for the configuration and operation of road tunnels be transferred to this waterway. The installation of additional smoke extraction openings was the result of a risk assessment. Due to potential high wind speeds, the experts also formulated a strict set of traffic regulations to be applied in the event of a fire.


  • Tunnel safety
  • Safety documentation
  • Emergency plan
  • Overall safety concept