Gateway to the East


Germany’s waterways have offered it access to the greater continent of Europe since Roman times.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the German dream of lebensraum was revived. When the unification of Europe into a federation of states, dominated by Germany, became a reality, East was to be joined with West.

Crucial to this unification of a Germanized Europe are the German Unity Transport Projects. Of particular note within this visionary effort to unite the middle European transit systems is Project 17—the development of the existing waterway link between Hannover in north-central Germany and Berlin in the northeast.

This pièce de résistance within the Unity Transport developments involves the most ambitious project of all: the 1 kilometer-long canal bridge over the Elbe River at Magdeburg, directly linking the Mitteland Canal and the Elbe-Havel Canal.

Up to now, shipping traveling from Germany’s massive North Sea ports to Berlin had to make huge detours before it could head in the direction of the German capital and on into Eastern Europe. The new canal bridge will speed the transfer of goods east and west along one of the busiest transport routes in Europe.

This huge engineering feat was actually begun within an earlier decade of German expansionary vision, the 1930s, but was abruptly terminated during World War ii.

Revived in 1998, the great canal bridge project is nearing completion as the time approaches for 13 Eastern European nations to join a federating Europe. Unified by common currency, governmental institutions, judiciary, police and defense, the EU is now being increasingly unified through a massive waterways transport system—largely under the control of the EU’s historically most aggressive member nation. Germany’s gateway to the East is about to open.