Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Oresund Bridge (joint Danish/Swedish hybrid name: Øresundsbron) is a combined two-track rail and four-lane road bridge across the Oresund strait. It is the longest bridge in Europe and connects the two metropolitan areas of the Oresund Region, the Danish capital of Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmö.
The last section was put down on August 14, 1999. Danish Heir Apparent Frederik and his Swedish counterpart Crown Princess Victoria met midway to celebrate its completion. The official inauguration took place on July 1, 2000, with Danish Queen Margrethe II, and her Swedish counterpart King Carl XVI Gustaf, presiding. The bridge was opened for traffic later that day. Before the inauguration 79,871 runners competed in a half distance marathon (Broloppet, the Bridge Run) from Amager (in Denmark) to Scania (in Sweden) on June 12, 2000. The public transport by rail is operated jointly by Swedish SJ and Danish DSB.
The bridge has one of the longest cable-stayed main spans in the world at 490 metres. The height of the highest pillar is 204 metres. The total length of the bridge is 7,845 meters, which is approximately half the distance between the Swedish and Danish landmasses, and its weight is 82 million kilograms. The rest of the distance is spanned by the artificial "Pepper" islet ("Peberholm"/"Pepparholm") (4,055 m), (named as a counterpart to the already existing "Saltholm" islet) followed by a tunnel (3,510 m) on the Danish side. The two rail-tracks are beneath the four road lanes. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 57 metres, although most boat traffic across Oresund still passes over the Drogden strait (where the tunnel lies).
Instead of calling the bridge "Øresundsbroen" in Danish and "Öresundsbron" in Swedish, a compromise was made and the bridge was baptized "Øresundsbron" as the official name, although the Swedish spelling remains common in everyday usage in Sweden, and the Danish in Denmark.
The bridge has not been as well used as was hoped, largely due to the expense of crossing. As of 2004 a single trip across the bridge costs DKK 230, or SEK 280 (c. 30 Euro). This has been a slight embarrassment to the governments of both countries. However, the consortium running the bridge maintains that the project is a long term one that will be well worth its cost in the long run.
The designers of the bridge hoped that it would help create a unified "Oresund region" comprising Copenhagen and the Swedish communities on the eastern side of the strait. This greater metropolitan region is one of the largest in northern Europe, and the hope is to create a hub for economic activity.
One deterrent to closer economic integration is the lack of a single currency, as both Sweden and Denmark maintain their own currencies, the Danish krone and Swedish krona. Although both are accepted in some areas of the other country, exchange rates are not favourable, and many businesses, especially outside tourist zones, do not accept the other currency.
- Oresund Bridge - Official website
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