The Øresund strait separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania. Its width is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) at the narrowest point between Kronborg Castle at Helsingør in Denmark – but this couldn’t stop these Scandinavic countries. They designed a magnificent bridge that turns into a tunnel… let me explain.
The Øresund was designed by the Danish engineering firm COWI and the main architect was George K.S. Rotne, being operated jointly by both states. The Øresund Bridge runs nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm, which lies in the middle of the strait. The crossing of the strait is completed by a 4 km (2.5-mile) underwater tunnel, called the Drogden Tunnel, from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager.
The man-made island of Peberholm is quite spectacular in itself. It was constructed from material dredged from the seabed. The flora and fauna has been allowed to develop freely, and has now become a big point of interest for biologists. The Lund’s Botanical Association has identified more than 500 different species of plants, as well as a popular breeding ground for birds and a habitat for the rare green toad.
The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, connection two of the most important centers in the region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen, and Sweden’s city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of the Scandinavian Peninsula with those of Central and Western Europe.
The cable-stayed bridge has two 204 meter high pylons (almost 700 feet), supporting the bridge across the channel. Thanks to the bridge, an area that now houses 3.7 million people was allowed to develop economically and thrive.