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Photo © Maksym Topchii |

         Seeming to vanish into the horizon, The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe
         Seeming to vanish into the horizon, The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe
         continued from page 10             rafted out into place and then suddenly   kg of steel train tracks in a steel trough.
         ferences in which side of the road cars   plunged to the bottom. An investiga-  But steel is also a mortal enemy because
         and trucks used.                   tion showed that a steel plate at the   it can rust from the inside out.
           Construction of the huge tunnel sec-  entrance to the tunnel section had not   Upon  completion  of  the  structure,  a
         tions  required  the building  of a tun-  been sealed properly. In the end, the   data cable also makes the bridge the
         nel  factory  and when  completed, the   piece was still usable and able to be   backbone of internet data transmission
         only  way  to move these  concrete  sec-  properly set up.            between  central  Europe  and  Sweden/
         tions – perhaps the heaviest concrete   The bridge’s two tower bases cover   Finland. The Øresund Bridge was de-
         structures in the world ever having to   1500  square meters each. They, as   signed by the Danish engineering firm
         be moved – required floating them by   with the tunnel components, had to be   COWI. The Øresund Bridge crosses the
         barge out to the tunnel construction   built in dry dock and moved into place.   border between Denmark and Sweden,
         site. Not simply water was used but   Moving them out into the strait actu-  but in accordance with the Schengen
         a  lock  and  flooding  system  to  get  the   ally was more difficult than the tunnel   Agreement and the Nordic Passport
         pieces into the water and moved. This   sections.  Being 22 stories  high  meant   Union, there are usually no passport
         moved the water to the tunnel sections   there was no way to barge float them   inspections. There are random customs
         instead of the other way around.   out as they extended all the way below   checks at the entrance toll booths enter-
           These were 175 meters long and while   the surface of the water to the seabed.   ing Sweden, but not when entering Den-
         under construction one was produced   With a huge catamaran, the two tow-  mark. Since January 2016, checks have
         each month. They weighed as much as   er foundation sections could rest in the   become significantly more stringent due
         24 space  shuttles. No  machine  in the   middle and float out into place through   to the European migrant crisis.
         world could lift them, so as mentioned   the use of  tugboats. As the two  tow-  Construction  began in 1995, with
         above, they were rafted out to the site.   ers  were  constructed  in  turn,  the two   the  bridge  opening  to  traffic  on  July
           Sinking them to the excavated trench   cranes involved had to be kept at differ-  1, 2000. The Øresund Bridge received
         proved challenging. Water was pumped   ent heights so that they did not become   the 2002 IABSE Outstanding Struc-
         in as ballast and four wire rope cables   entangled in each others parts and   ture Award. A joint venture of Hochti-
         were  used  to guide  the  structure  into   cables. The towers were self-contained   ef,  Skanska,  Højgaard &  Schultz  and
         place. Winch  operators used GPS to   construction  sites  with  boxes added   Monberg  &  Thorsen,  began construc-
         make sure the concrete tunnel sections   every twelve meters as they started   tion of the bridge in 1995 and complet-
         kept on target and made it to where   to rise in  height. The lifter used was   ed it August  14, 1999. Crown  Prince
         they were designed to go. The margin   called the Swan Lifter.        Frederik of Denmark and Crown Prin-
         of  error  for  positioning  these  gigantic   On the outside they look solid, but in   cess  Victoria  of  Sweden  met midway
         pieces was a mere one and a quarter   reality they are hollow, full of control   across the bridge-tunnel on August 14,
         centimeter in any direction.       equipment as well as an elevator to the   1999 to  celebrate its  completion.  The
           Twelve  sections  made it  into  place   top of the structure. The bottom of the   official  dedication  took  place  on  July
         as work progressed. The thirteenth   completed span is also hollow, housing   1, 2000, with Queen Margrethe II and
         section  – actually named 12-A – was   critical bridge equipment and 80 million        continued on page 14
         12     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   April 2017
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