Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oresund Underwater Bridge between Sweden to Denmark

Underwater bridge made from Sweden to Denmark. Amazing man made wonder.

The Oresund Bridge is a combined two-track rail and four-lane road bridge-tunnel across the Oresund strait. It is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects the two metropolitan areas of the Oresund Region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmo. The international European route E20 runs across the bridge and through the tunnel via the two lane motorway, as does the Oresund Railway Line. The construction of the Great Belt Fixed Link and the Oresundsbron have, together, enabled one to drive from Mainland Europe to Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. The bridge was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing + Weitling.


Construction of the crossing began in 1995. It was finished on 14 August 1999. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met midway on the bridge to celebrate the completion. The official inauguration took place on 1 July 2000, with Queen Margrethe II, and King Carl XVI Gustaf as guests of honour. The crossing was opened for public traffic later that day. On 12 June 2000, before the inauguration, 79,871 runners competed in a half marathon (Broloppet, the Bridge Run) from Amager (Denmark) to Sweden. In spite of two major disasters - 16 unexploded World War II bombs on the sea bed and a skewed tunnel segment - the crossing was finished 3 months ahead of schedule.

Initially, the crossing was not used as much as expected, probably because of the high cost. However, 2005 and 2006 saw a rapid increase in traffic. This may have been due to Danes buying homes in Sweden - to take advantage of lower house prices in MalmO - and commuting to work in Denmark. In 2008, to cross by car cost DKK 260, SEK 325 and 36.30, although discounts up to 75% are available for regular users. In 2007, almost 25 million people travelled over the bridge: 15.2 million by car and bus, and 9.6 million 

The Oresund bridge crosses the border between Denmark and Sweden, but thanks to the Schengen Agreement, there are no passport controls. However, there are frequent customs checks at the toll booths on the Swedish side for those entering Sweden, but not for those entering Denmark.
Inside of the Bridge

Bridge features 

At 7,845 m (25,738 ft), the bridge covers half the distance between Sweden and the Danishisland of Amager, the border between the two countries being 5.3 km (3.3 mi) from the Swedish end. The structure has a mass of 82,000 tonnes and 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 3 cable-stayed sections, the girder is supported every 140 m (459 ft) by concrete piers. The 2 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 vessels prefer to pass through the unobstructedDrogden Strait above the Drogden Tunnel. The 490 m (1,608 ft) cable-stayed main span is the longest of the type in the world. A girder and cable-stayed design was chosen to provide the rigidity necessary to carry heavy railway traffic. 

Bridge between Denmark and Sweden ( Satelite view )

The cost for the entire Oresund connection construction, including motorway and railway connections on land, was calculated at DKK 30.1 billion according to the 2000 year price index, with the cost of the bridge paid back by 2035. In 2006 Sweden began spending a further SEK 9.45 billion on the MalmO City Tunnel as a new rail connection to the bridge; it is due for completion in 2011.
The connection will be entirely user financed. The owner company is owned half by the Danish government and half by the Swedish government. This owner company has taken loans guaranteed by the governments to finance the connection, and the user fees are the only incomes for the company now. After the increase in traffic these fees are enough to pay the interest and begin paying back the loans, which is expected to take about 30 years.
The tax payers have not paid for the bridge and the tunnel. However, tax money has been used for the land connections. Especially on the Danish side the land connection has domestic benefit, mainly connecting the airport to the railway network. The MalmO City 
Tunnel has the benefit of connecting the southern part of the inner city to the rail network, and allowing many more trains to and from MalmO. The existing station is a bottleneck limiting the number of trains, so that people have to stand onboard some trains, especially over the Oresund Bridge, and the passenger figures are still increasing.

The construction
 started in 1995 and FamousSweden to Denmark bridge first was opened for traffic in July 2000 Oresund Bridge is one of Europe's largest bridges, It has a length of about km ( 7845 meters or 4,9 miles ) . Besides Sweden to denmark bridgesupported with 560 meters of viaduct at thePepparholm Island ( artificial island ). 

Since 2000 a total of more than 12000 vehicles and 50 thousand people cross it daily or it is approximately 4,5 million vehicles and 19 million people yearly!

Although still the traffic across Sweden toDenmark bridge rises for approximately 11%a year, it is expected for the bridge to be fully paid in 2035

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