Saturday, October 22, 2022



Did you know that the fantastic architectural Øresund Bridge is 1.9 kilometers under water and 1.4 kilometers above water, combining both roadway and railway, and links Denmark and Sweden in the European continent?

The Öresund or Øresund Bridge is a combined railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Denmark and Sweden, the longest in Europe with both roadway and railway combined in a single structure, running nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island Peberholm in the middle of the strait. The crossing is completed by the 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) Drogden Tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager.

Ideas for a fixed link across the Øresund were advanced as early as the first decade of the 20th century. In 1910, proposals were put to the Swedish Parliament for a railway tunnel across the strait, which would have comprised two tunnelled sections linked by a surface road across the island of Saltholm.

The concept of a bridge over the Øresund was first formally proposed in 1936 by a consortium of engineering firms who proposed a national motorway network for Denmark.

The idea was dropped during World War II, but picked up again thereafter and studied in significant detail in various Danish-Swedish government commissions through the 1950s and 1960s. 

However, disagreement existed regarding the placement and exact form of the link, with some arguing for a link at the narrowest point of the sound at Helsingør–Helsingborg, further north of Copenhagen, and some arguing for a more direct link from Copenhagen to Malmö. 

Additionally, some regional and local interests argued that other bridge and road projects, notably the then-unbuilt Great Belt Fixed Link, should take priority. 

The governments of Denmark and Sweden eventually signed an agreement to build a fixed link in 1973.

 It would have comprised a bridge between Malmö and Saltholm, with a tunnel linking Saltholm to Copenhagen, and would have been accompanied by a second rail tunnel across the Øresund between Helsingør and Helsingborg.

However, that project was cancelled in 1978 due to the economic situation, and growing environmental concerns. 

As the economic situation improved in the 1980s, interest continued and the governments signed a new agreement in 1991. 

A joint venture of Hochtief, Skanska, Højgaard & Schultz and Monberg & Thorsen (the same of the previous Great Belt Fixed Link), began construction of the bridge in 1995 and completed it 14 August 1999. 

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met midway across the bridge-tunnel on 14 August 1999 to celebrate its completion. The official dedication took place on 1 July 2000, with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden as the hostess and host of the ceremony. 

Because of the death of nine people, including three Danes and three Swedes, at the Roskilde Festival the evening before, the ceremony opened with a minute of silence. 

The bridge-tunnel opened for public traffic later that day. On 12 June 2000, two weeks before the dedication, 79,871 runners competed in Broloppet, a half marathon from Amager, Denmark, to Skåne, Sweden.

Despite two schedule setbacks – the discovery of 16 unexploded World War II bombs on the seafloor and an inadvertently skewed tunnel segment – the bridge-tunnel was finished three months ahead of schedule.

Although traffic between Denmark and Sweden increased by 61 percent in the first year after the bridge opened, traffic levels were not as high as expected, perhaps due to high tolls. 

However, since 2005, traffic levels have increased rapidly. 

This may be due to Danes buying homes in Sweden to take advantage of lower housing prices in Malmö and commuting to work in Denmark. 

In 2012, to cross by car cost DKK 310, SEK 375 or €43, with discounts of up to 75% available to regular users. 

In 2007, almost 25 million people travelled over the Øresund Bridge: 15.2 million by car and bus and 9.6 million by train. By 2009, the figure had risen to 35.6 million by car, coach or train.

Credit: penglobal

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