Øresund Bridge, Sweden

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The construction of the Øresund Bridge began in 1995, and was finished 14 August 1999

The Øresund or Öresund Bridge (Danish: Øresundsbroen, Swedish: Öresundsbron, joint hybrid name: Øresundsbron) is a combined twin-track railway and dual carriageway bridge-tunnel across the Øresund strait. The bridge connects Sweden and Denmark, and it is the longest road and rail bridge in Europe. The Øresund Bridge also connects two major Metropolitan Areas: those of the Danish capital city of Copenhagen and the major Swedish city ofMalmö. Furthermore, the Øresund Bridge connects the road network of Scandinavia with those of Central and Western Europe. The international European route E20 crosses this bridge-tunnel via the road, and the Öresund Railway Line uses the railway. The construction of the Great Belt Fixed Link – which connects Zealand to Funen and thence to the Jutland Peninsula – and the Øresund Bridge have connected Western and Central Europe to Scandinavia. The Øresund Bridge was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing+Weitling. The purpose for the additional expenditure and complexity related to digging a tunnel for part of the way – rather than simply raising that section of the bridge – was to avoid interfering with airliners from the nearby Copenhagen International Airport, and also to provide a clear channel for ships in good weather or bad, and to prevent ice floes from blocking the strait. The Øresund Bridge crosses the border between Denmark and Sweden, but in accordance with the Schengen Agreement and the Nordic Passport Union, there are usually no passport inspections. There are random customs checks at the entrance toll booths for entering Sweden, but not for entering Denmark. The Øresund Bridge received the 2002 IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.

At 7,845 m (25,738 ft), the bridge covers half the distance between Sweden and the Danish island of Amager, the border between the two countries being located 5.3 km (3.3 mi) from the Swedish end. The structure has a mass of 82,000 tonnesand supports two railway tracks beneath four road lanes in a horizontal girder extending along the entire length of the bridge. On both approaches to the three cable-stayed bridge sections, the girder is supported every 140 m (459 ft) by concrete piers. The two pairs of free-standing cable supporting towers are 204 m (669 ft) high allowing shipping 57 m (187 ft) of head room under the main span. Even so, most ship’s captains prefer to pass through the unobstructed Drogden Strait above the Drogden Tunnel. Its 491 m (1,611 ft) cable-stayed main span is the longest of this type in the world. A girder and cable-stayed design was chosen to provide the rigidity necessary to carry heavy rail traffic, and also to resist large accumulations of ice.

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