With funding agreed, construction is expected to begin on the 4km bridge next year with opening scheduled for 2022.

The bridge will carry a double-track railway, which will be designed for 200km/h operation, together with a two lane road and a bicycle/pedestrian path.

The government has decided to bring forward construction to boost the economy in a region with high unemployment and because the existing single-track bridge, which dates from 1937, is deteriorating more quickly than previously thought.

The bridge will be used by regional services from Copenhagen to Nykøbing (Falster) as well as international ICE services to Hamburg, which currently reach Germany via the Rødby - Puttgarten train ferry.