Sixteen years of preparation have led to a state treaty between Germany and Denmark on constructing a new bridge over the Baltic to link the two countries. However, there is considerable opposition and controversy about this. Opposition comes from environmental groups, state governments in Germany who fear that their ports and ferry operations will be jeopardized, and the shipping industry which fears that the bridge will affect shipping safety. The bridge will be owned by Denmark and designed to take both road and rail traffic. The state treaty has to be approved by parliament before an construction can go ahead.