Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Lund-Copenhagen-Malmö

I'm at a workshop and visiting friends at Lund and Copenhagen. Both are pretty cities, but I think it is the Øresund Bridge, (the longest road and rail bridge in Europe, connecting Copenhagen with Malmö) that defines this area more than anything. It gives both cities a sense of connection and everybody seems to think it's cool.  For me, it's most impressive to see the commitment to railroads. Here is some info on it:
At 7,845 m 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 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 three cable-stayed bridge sections, the girder is supported every 140 m by concrete piers. The two pairs of free-standing cable supporting towers are 204 m high allowing shipping 57 m 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 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.

Name

In Denmark and Sweden, the bridge is most often referred to as Øresundsbroen and Öresundsbron, respectively. The bridge company itself insists on Oresundsbron, a compromise between the two languages. This symbolises a common cultural identity for the region, with some regular commuters considering themselves "Öresund citizens" once the Oresund Bridge was completed. Since the crossing is actually composed of a bridge, one artificial island, and a tunnel, it is sometimes called the "Öresund Link" or the "Öresund Connection" (Danish: Øresundsforbindelsen, Swedish: Öresundsförbindelsen).
It is occasionally referred to as the "Sound Bridge", using the historic English name for the strait.

History

The construction of the Øresund Bridge began in 1995, and was finished 14 August 1999. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met midway across the bridge-tunnel to celebrate its completion.

In spite of two schedule setbacks – the discovery of 16 unexploded World War II bombs lying on the seafloor and an inadvertently skewed tunnel segment – the bridge-tunnel was finished three months ahead of schedule.

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