This Amazing Bridge Turns Into a Tunnel and Connects Denmark and Sweden
The Øresund is an engineering marvel that connects the Danish capital of Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmö.
A cable-stayed bridge runs nearly 8 km (5 miles) to an artificial island where it transitions into a tunnel that runs another 4 km (2.5 miles). The award-winning double-track railway and motorway opened on July 1, 2000.
The Øresund was designed by the Danish engineering firm COWI and the main architect was George K.S. Rotne. The bridge and tunnel run across the Øresund strait and is jointly operated by the neighbouring states from both countries. To use the Øresund you must pay a toll.
The cable-stayed bridge features two 204 m high pylons supporting the 490 m long bridge span across the Flinte Channel. The motorway runs on the upper level while the railway runs below.
Most of the bridge structures, including the piers and spans, were built on land and towed out by large floating cranes. Only the pylons were cast ‘in situ’.
The man-made island of Peberholm links the bridge and tunnel. The island was constructed from material dredged from the seabed and most of the 4 km tunnel was built by concrete elements cast on land and towed out and lowered into a dredged trench.
The flora and fauna on the island have been allowed to develop freely and undisturbed and has become a haven for biologists. The Lund’s Botanical Association has identified more than 500 different species of plants and the island serves as a popular breeding ground for birds as well as habitat for the rare green toad.
Approximately two-thirds of the people travelling across the Øresund go by train with the journey between Copenhagen and Malmö taking about 35 minutes.
Thanks to the fixed link the Øresund provides, a region of 3.7 million inhabitants has been created and allows people to live and work on either side. To learn more, visit the official site at oresundbron.com
All photographs by Øresundsbro Konsortiet unless otherwise stated