Oresund Bridge is the longest road and rail bridge-tunnel in Europe and connects the two metropolitan areas of the Oresund Region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö.
European route E20 crosses the bridge along with the Oresund Railway Line. The bridge is called Öresundsbron in Sweden and Øresundbroen in Denmark.
Construction of the 16 km long Oresund link between Sweden and Denmark was completed on 14 August, 1999. On August 14, 1999 the final section of the Oresund bridge was placed in position by the floating crane, “Svanen”. Six hours later, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark met on the bridge to mark the fact that Denmark and Sweden are linked once more – 7,000 years after the Ice Age when they were landlocked. The project opened to traffic during the summer of 2000.
Initially the usage of the bridge was not as high as expected, which was generally attributed to the expense of crossing. However, 2005 and 2006 saw a rapid increase in the volume of traffic on the bridge. This phenomenon may be due to Danes buying homes in Sweden and commuting to work in Denmark, because the price of housing in Malmö is lower than in Copenhagen. In 2007, almost 25 million people traveled over the bridge, 15.2 million in cars and buses and 9.6 million by train.
The bridge ends in the middle of Øresund, on an artificial island, called Peberholm
The island is more than 4 km long and a few hundred meter wide, belongs to Denmark and is now an unpopulated natural reserve.
The connection between Peberholm and the nearest populated part of Denmark is through a tunnel, called the Drogden Tunnel (Drogdentunnelen).
The tunnel is 4,050 meter (13,287 ft) long, a 3,510-meter (11,500 ft) long buried undersea tunnel plus two 270-meter (890 ft) entry-tunnels. The reason for building a tunnel instead of another section of bridge is that the Copenhagen Airport is nearby
The bridge has one of the longest cable-stayed main spans in the world at 490 meter (1,608 ft). The height of the highest pillar is 204 meter (669 ft).
The total length of the bridge is 7,845 meter (25,738 ft), which is approximately half the distance between the Swedish and Danish landmasses, and its weight is 82,000 tonnes. The border is located 2.5 km (1.6 mi) from the western end and 5.3 km (3.3 mi) from the eastern end of the bridge. On the bridge, the two rail-tracks are beneath the four road lanes.
The bridge has a vertical clearance of 57 meter (187 ft), although most boat traffic across Oresund still passes over the Drogden strait (where the tunnel lies).