In 1991, the Danish and Swedish governments signed an agreement to establish a fixed link across the Øresund. The agreement was ratified by the two countries’ parliaments in August of the same year. Øresundskonsortiet, a joint venture between A/S Øresund and Svensk-Danska Broförbindelsen SVEDAB AB, constructed the permanent link between Sweden and Denmark. The project cost more than DKK12 billion and comprises a 16.4km (10-mile) link between Copenhagen and Malmö consisting of a tunnel, a bridge and an artificial island.

In May 2003 the Øresund Bridge won the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award. The judges commended the project for its innovative planning, design and construction management as well as its compliance with the time schedule, budget and tough environmental requirements.

Øresund link bridge approval

Through the agreement, the two governments each hold a 50% stake in Øresundskonsortiet. The project was officially started when The Danish Ministry of Transport approved the general design, alignment and environmental conditions for the Øresund Link on Danish territory. Once completed in March 2000, the bridge was handed over to the client Øresundsbro Konsortiet by the contractor Sundlink. In April, the tunnel and the artificial island Peberholm were handed over to the client Øresundsbro Konsortiet by the contractors ØTC and ÖMJV. The Øresund Bridge was inaugurated in July 2000.

Project timescale

The project originally began in March 1991 when the Danish and Swedish governments signed the agreement. In January 1992, Øresundskonsortiet was formed through a partnership agreement. In September 1993 the first turf was cut, and in June 1994, the Swedish government approved the construction of the link on Swedish territory. From July to November 1995, Øresundskonsortiet signed contracts with all the necessary companies for the construction. By March 1999, the first vehicle was driven through the tunnel, and by December, the first rail track between Malmö and Copenhagen was completed.

The whole project consisted of the construction of a bridge, a tunnel and an artificial island between the two countries that stretched 16.4km. The tunnel construction contract had a value of DKK3.98 billion. The contract for the artificial island had a value of DKK1.4 billion and the contract for the construction of the high bridge and the two, two-level approach bridges with the motorway on the upper level and the railway on the lower level had a value of DKK6.3 billion.

Øresund bridge

The Øresund Bridge is composed of a high bridge over the Flintrännan navigation channel and two approach bridges. The high bridge has the longest cable-stayed main span in the world (490m) for both road and rail traffic.

The bridge two-level superstructure is fabricated from steel and concrete. The steel girder supports the upper deck, which accommodates the motorway, and the lower deck where the railway is located. The tracks are placed in a concrete trough along the approach bridges, which changes to a steel deck on the high bridge.

Hydraulic systems supplier Enerpac supplied CLR Series double-acting jacks to place the bridge elements of the lower deck on their bearings. The jacks have also been used to support the upper deck.

Øresund tunnel

The western part of the Øresund Link is a 4km-long tunnel between the artificial island of Peberholm and the artificial peninsula at Kastrup. The tunnel is the longest immersed tube tunnel for both road and rail traffic in the world. It consists of 20 tunnel elements beneath the Drogden Channel.

The elements, manufactured in Copenhagen’s North Harbor, are 577ft long and weigh up to 55,000t each. Each element consists of eight segments of 72ft each. Enerpac’s CLL lock nut jacks were used to move the inside walls of the tunnel mould and lift these segments for transportation from the Copenhagen factory to the construction site.

Artificial island and peninsula

The artificial island of Peberholm was built in order to transfer the traffic from the immersed tunnel up onto the approach bridge. Peberholm is approx. 4km long and mainly made up of dredged material from the Øresund seabed. A total of 1.6 million m³ of stone and 7.5 million m³ of sand and dredged material were required for its completion.

The artificial peninsula at Kastrup, which accommodates the portal of the Øresund tunnel, was constructed by Øresund Marine Joint Venture (ØMJV). It covers 0.9km² and is made up of dredged material from the Øresund seabed.

Lead contractors

Øresundskonsortiet signed a contract with Øresund Tunnel Contractors for the construction of the immersed tunnel with two lanes in each direction, a double-track railway and a service tunnel. The tunnel contractors were a consortium consisting of NCC AB (SE), Dumez-GTM SA (F), John Laing Ltd (UK), E. Pihl & Søn (DK), and Boskalis Westminster (NL).

A contract was also made for the dredging and construction of the artificial island with Öresund Marine Joint Venture, consisting of Per Aarsleff A/S (DK), Ballast Nedam Dredging b.v. (NL) and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co (US).

Øresundskonsortiet also signed a contract with Sundlink Contractors, Skanska AB (SE), Højgaard & Schultz (DK), Monberg & Thorsen (DK), Hochtief AG (Germany), for the high bridge and the two, two-level approach bridges with the motorway on the upper level and the railway on the lower level.