Numerous world-class bridges are each distinctive in their own way. The purpose of modern bridges is to offer easy passage over physical barriers. Despite a straightforward and apparent purpose, many of these massive man-made objects have developed significant cultural or historical significance for the local community, entire nations, or even the entire planet.
From Golden Gate Bridge to Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs to Øresund Bridge. They each have a special structure and function.
The Øresund Bridge, the longest motor and rail link between Denmark and Sweden, stands out because it is an engineering marvel.
The Denmark-Sweden bridge has developed into a topic of research, a popular tourist destination, a driver of economic growth, and an illustration of cross-border connectivity.
Known as the “Øresund Bridge,” or Denmark-Sweden bridge
The Denmark-Sweden bridge-tunnel, a long bridge that spans over 16 kilometres from the Swedish coastline to the artificial island of Peberholm in the middle of the strait, is Europe’s longest motorway and railroad bridge-tunnel. The Danish engineering firm COWI developed the structure of this bridge.
In 2002, the Oresund Bridge won the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.
Since the 1950s, when Sweden and Denmark joined the Nordic Passport Union, there haven’t been any border checks between the two nations, and people can usually pass the Denmark-Sweden bridge without restriction.
Denmark Sweden bridge-tunnel is also a witness to some unusual events, such as Nordic economic and engineering cooperation, the resolution of horrifying real or imagined crimes, free movement, as evidenced by the thousands of commuters who travel both ways daily, and more recently, policed boundaries with associated ID checks.
However, from different points of view, it is a physical link connecting mainland Europe and the rest of the Nordic countries and a representation of cross-border ties.
History of Oresund Bridge
A fixed link across the Oresund is not a unique idea. Oresund has long been a barrier to the movement of people and goods between Denmark and Sweden. Additionally, it served as a psychological barrier because even the idea of challenging travel inhibited trade and tighter ties.
As urbanization and globalization spread across the whole European continent, the concept of a fixed link became more and more feasible. Several ideas were put forth at the beginning of the 20th century; however, the biggest issue was not receiving enough funding and political support, which did not result in the anticipated conclusion.
Sweden and Denmark’s political and economic climate improved toward the end of the 20th century, laying the groundwork for the effort to build the Oresund Bridge.
To improve connectivity between the two largest cities in the Oresund Region, it was decided to construct the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö(Denmark and Sweden) at the bottom of the Swedish coast rather than Elsinore and the narrowest point of the sound at Helsingborg. Strategically, the bridge’s closeness to Copenhagen Airport (the Danish capital) was important.
In 1991, the two governments tried an agreement to create a fixed link between the Danish and Swedish states. The two countries’ parliaments approved the negotiated agreement in August of that year. Per the agreement, Denmark and the Swedish government jointly own a 50% interest in Øresundskonsortiet.
The amount of the bridge-tunnel building contract was DKK3.98 billion. The contract for building the artificial island of Peberholm was worth DKK1.4 billion. In contrast, the contract for building the high bridge and the two approach bridges with two levels—one for the railroad and the other for the motorway—was worth DKK6.3 billion.
Loans were used to cover the construction costs, so there was no charge to the taxpayers. The tolls for using the road bridge go to repay the loans and accrued interest. It is anticipated that by 2034, it will be fully repaid.
The construction of the Denmark-Sweden bridge started in 1995, four years after its announcement. The Denmark-Sweden bridge opened to traffic in 2000 after taking approximately 5 years to build.
The Øresund Bridge is a significant component of infrastructure and a cultural monument. Since the Denmark-Sweden bridge tunnel’s opening, more than 230 million people have crossed it, 141 million by vehicle and the remainder by train.
Oresund Bridge Structures
This fixed link between Denmark and Sweden opened new doors for the people for centuries. Many Danes relocated to Sweden to avoid the increasing housing costs in their home country and travelled daily to work.
The Denmark-Sweden bridge tunnel links the Central and Western Europe Road and rail networks with those on the Scandinavian Peninsula.
The main architecture of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden comprises two approach bridges and a high bridge that spans the Flinte Channel. The bridge has two decks, with the railway running on the lower deck and vehicle traffic on the upper deck. The motorway runs on a separate level. The high bridge features the longest main span (490m) with cable stays worldwide for rail and vehicle traffic.
The two-level superstructure of the Denmark-Sweden bridge-tunnel is made of steel and concrete. The bridge’s 82,000-ton mass rests on two railway tracks beneath four lanes of traffic and is supported by a horizontal girder that runs the whole bridge length. All along approach bridges, the tracks are set in a concrete trough; on the high bridge, they are on a steel deck.
A cable-stayed bridge supports the 1,611-foot primary span. A girder and cable-stayed bridge structure supported considerable train traffic and resisted significant ice buildup to give specified stiffness.
Compression spring dampers were installed in pairs at the centre of the cables to eliminate vibration brought on by many cables in the Oresund Bridge moving under specific wind and temperature conditions.
Øresund Drogden Tunnel
The Øresund tunnel is the world’s most giant submerged tube tunnel for both train and vehicle traffic. Under the Drogden Channel it consists of 20 tunnel segments.
The elements are 577 feet long and weigh up to 55,000 tonnes each. They were made in Copenhagen’s North Harbor. Eight pieces of 72 feet apiece make up each component. The internal walls of the Øresund tunnel mould were moved and lifted using Enerpac’s CLL lock nut jacks to transport them from the beautiful Copenhagen plant to the building site.
The western section of the Øresund Link, which connects the Peberholm artificial island to the Kastrup airport, is a 4 km long tunnel. The Denmark-Sweden bridge tunnel had to be constructed into the island rather than being dug.
Peberholm – Artificial Island
Peberholm is a little man-made island in the Danish portion of the Oresund strait that was built as part of the Denmark Sweden bridge Tunnel that connects Denmark and Sweden.
Swedish rock and soil excavated during the bridge and tunnel construction were used to create Peberholm, a protected nature reserve. Oresund Marine Joint Venture built the artificial peninsula at Kastrup that houses the portal of the Oresund tunnel. Its 0.9-kilometre surface is made up of dredged sediment from the øresund seabed.
The natural habitat on Peberholm is fascinating because it allows us to see how species migrate and how plant and animal life flourish in a remote area. On the island, there are some technical facilities and a turning area. The material dredged from the Sound was used to construct the island.
On the island, there are hundreds of different animal and plant species, and many uncommon and new species are discovered now and then. The island’s flora and fauna have been permitted to develop freely and undisturbed, and as a result, it has become a refuge for biologists.
According to Lund’s Botanical Association, the island is home to more than 500 different plant species, and it is a popular breeding ground for birds and the rare green toad.
Primary Purpose of Man-made Island
The island’s main goal is establishing a crossing point between the bridge and the tunnel.
A tunnel was constructed instead since a Denmark-Sweden bridge covering the full route between Malmö and Copenhagen would have conflicted with the blockage zones around Kastrup Airport. Another motivation was to allow large ships to spread the Oresund without worrying about the bridge’s height.
The freight train traffic would be restricted if the Denmark-Sweden bridge were raised since a steeper gradient would be required. The railway traffic control signals and systems along the border between Denmark and Sweden are regulated at Peberholm.
The Ideal Spot to View the Oresund Bridge
There are a few locations in Copenhagen and the surrounding areas where you can obtain the best views of the Denmark Sweden Bridge, while there are many great spots where you can see it.
Due to their geolocations, these locations offer various perspectives of the Denmark–Sweden Bridge and various atmospheres and environmental conditions. Having stated that every location has advantages and disadvantages.
The tallest tower building or a level area parallel to the seabed are the sites where you can adequately appreciate the bridge’s architecture and the designer’s idea.
The runways of Copenhagen’s International Airport, the closest and from which you can also see this Bridge, are set up so that almost all arriving and leaving aircraft cross the Oresund Strait.
Activities near Denmark Sweden bridge
The Denmark Sweden Bridge is a good place to ride if you enjoy cycling. You will pass through Västra Hamnen on the way to your final destination, which is worth visiting due to its winding streets, beautiful beaches, bathing area, and magnificent architecture.
Additionally, you will cross through Ribersborg, a 3 km long beach where you can engage in various summertime activities. There are bathing facilities here as well.
The Denmark–Sweden Bridge represents a new phase in engineering and is Europe’s longest combined road tunnel. That provides new opportunities for the citizens of Sweden and Denmark as well.
The Denmark-Sweden bridge tunnel, which connects the province of Scania in Sweden and the Danish island of Zealand, has produced a region with 3.7 million people.
The building of the Denmark-Sweden bridge-tunnel was a unique piece of engineering. It had elements of a road bridge, a tunnel, and a rail line. It was surprising how many moving elements and design restrictions were in the process.
Trade channels between Denmark and Sweden have improved and are thriving since the construction of the Denmark-Sweden Bridge Tunnel.
Traffic across the Oresund has significantly increased due to the Denmark-Sweden bridge. Today, it takes 10 minutes to drive across the bridge. Vehicles pay the toll fees at the toll booth in Lernacken on the Swedish side.