The Øresund/Öresund Bridge (Danish: Øresundsbroen [ˈøːɐsɔnˀsˈb̥ɔn̩], Swedish: Öresundsbron [œːrəˈsɵnːdsˈbruːn], hybrid name: Ø̈resundsbron) is a railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. The bridge runs nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm in the middle of the strait. The crossing is completed by the 4 km (2.5-mile) Drogden Tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager.
The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects two major metropolitan areas: Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the Swedish city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of the Scandinavian Peninsula with those of Central and Western Europe. A data cable also makes the bridge the backbone of internet data transmission between central Europe and Sweden/Finland.
The international European route E20 crosses via road, the Oresund Line via railway. The construction of the Great Belt Fixed Link, connecting Zealand to Funen and thence to the Jutland Peninsula, and the Øresund Bridge have connected Central and Western Europe to Scandinavia by road and rail. The Øresund Bridge was designed by the Danish engineering firm COWI. The justification for the additional expenditure and complexity related to digging a tunnel for part of the way, rather than raising that section of the bridge, was to avoid interfering with air traffic from the nearby Copenhagen Airport, 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 entering Sweden, but not when 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 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 is 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, but most ships’ captains prefer to pass through the unobstructed Drogden Strait above the Drogden Tunnel. The cable-stayed main span is 491 m (1,611 ft) long. A girder and cable-stayed design was chosen to provide the specific rigidity necessary to carry heavy rail traffic, and also to resist large accumulations of ice. The bridge experiences occasional brief closures during very severe weather, such as the St. Jude storm of October 2013.
Due to high longitudinal and transverse loads acting over the bridge and to accommodate movements between the superstructure and substructure, it has bearings weighing up to 20t each, capable of bearing vertical loads up to 96,000 kN in a longitudinal direction and up to 40,000 kN in transverse direction. The design, manufacturing and installation of the bearings were carried out by the Swiss civil engineering firm Mageba.
Vibration issues, caused by several cables in the bridge moving under certain wind and temperature conditions, were combatted with the installation of compression spring dampers installed in pairs at the centre of the cables. Two of these dampers were equipped with laser gauges for ongoing monitoring. Testing, development and installation of these spring dampers was carried out by specialists European Springs.
The connection between Peberholm and the artificial peninsula at Kastrup on Amager island, the nearest populated part of Denmark, is through the 4,050 m (13,287 ft) long Drogden Tunnel (Drogdentunnelen). It comprises a 3,510 m (11,516 ft) immersed tube plus 270 m (886 ft) entry tunnels at each end. The tube tunnel is made from 20 prefabricated reinforced concrete segments – the largest in the world at 55,000 tonnes each – interconnected in a trench dug in the seabed. Two tubes in the tunnel carry railway tracks, two carry roads and a small fifth tube is provided for emergencies. The tubes are arranged side–by–side.
The rail link is operated jointly by the Swedish SJ and Danish railways via DSBFirst on a commission by Skånetrafiken and other county traffic companies (that also sell tickets) and the Danish transport agency. A series of new dual-voltage trains was developed, linking the Copenhagen area with Malmö and southern Sweden as far as Gothenburg and Kalmar. SJ operates X2000 and InterCity trains over the bridge, with connections to Gothenburg and Stockholm. DSB operates trains to Ystad that connect directly to a ferry to Bornholm. Copenhagen Airport at Kastrup has its own railway station close to the western bridgehead. Trains operate every 20 minutes, once an hour during the night, in both directions. An additional couple of Øresundstrains are operated at rush hour, and 1–2 SJ trains and DSB trains per hour and direction every other hour. Freight trains also use the crossing.
The rail section is double track 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and capable of speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph), slower in Denmark, especially in the tunnel section. There were challenges related to the difference in electrification and signalling between the Danish and Swedish railway networks. The solution chosen is to switch the electrical system from Swedish 15 kV, 16.7 Hz to Danish 25 kV, 50 Hz before the eastern bridgehead at Lernacken in Sweden. The line is signalled according to the standard Swedish system across the length of the bridge. On Peberholm the line switches to Danish signalling, which continues into the tunnel.
Swedish trains run on the left, Danish on the right. Initially the switch was made at Malmö Central Station, a terminus at that time. After the 2010 inauguration of the Malmö City Tunnel connection, a flyover was built at Burlöv, north of Malmö, where the two southbound tracks cross over the northbound pair. The railway in Malmö thus uses the Danish standard.