Øresund Bridge: The Famous Link Between Two Countries


While Denmark’s city of Copenhagen residents were looking for cheaper residential areas, Sweden’s city of Malmö residents were looking for more business opportunities. However, due to The Øresund Strait, which is 16 kilometers long, between both countries, there was no association. Even though, the both countries tried to make an agreement before, because of the economic and the environmental reasons, there were no agreements. Owing to the economic growth in the area, in the 1980s, both country states signed an agreement in 1991. Primary purposes of the bridge’s construction, according to the OMEGA Centre report, are:

  • Developing the transportation network from Hamburg to Oslo,
  • Supporting the development of the Øresund region,
  • Dealing with the condensing globalization process and Sweden’s European Union application,
  • Connecting the region’s two biggest cities, which have economic problems in the region,
  • Developing the transportation to main aviation center in the region,

The construction started with the Øresundsbro Konsortiet, which is composed by Hochtief, Skanska, Højgaard & Schultz, and Monberg & Thorsen, in 1995 and finished on August 19, 1999. Danish royal family Prince Frederik and Swedish royal family Princess Victoria met at the midpoint of the bridge to celebrate the construction of the bridge.

On the Denmark side of the bridge, Copenhagen Airport is located. Therefore, constructing a bridge that has high towers jeopardizes the aviation. If the bridge had been built low, there would have been a sea traffic congestion in the area. Also, constructing a tunnel from one side to another side would be costly. The resolution was to construct a bridge to some extent and proceeding with a tunnel which is close to the airport. There was a need for a land in the middle of the sea to connect the bridge and the tunnel, yet there was no piece of land to meet this need. Hence, they built an artificial island, Peberholm (Pepper Island). This 4 kilometers long island provided the suitable conditions for the connection of the bridge and the tunnel in the midpoint of the strait. It was decided that the bridge’s abutment width would be broad, and for there would be train and car passing, instead of an arch bridge or a suspension bridge, a cable-stayed bridge should be built.

In the end, the bridge and the tunnel were not the only things that are gained. With this project, the biggest double-decker bridge of the world, the biggest two pairs of bridge towers and the longest undersea tunnel awards go to The Øresund Bridge and Tunnel. Bridge buttresses and artificial island contributes to the ecological diversity in the region and host to various living beings.

Şafak Türkeli


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