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Press release

The final span over the Öresund Essen
Denmark and Sweden will soon be only ten minutes apart. On August 14, the last gap in the coast-to-coast bridge over the Öresund will be closed when the final element is placed. Before the bridge is officially opened, though, it will take almost eleven more months. During this time, asphalting work has to be completed and the railway lines have to be laid. Then, on July 1, 2000, the Öresund Bridge will enable motor vehicles and trains to travel directly between the two countries.

In November, 1995, the international consortium Sundlink Contractors was awarded the contract for the turnkey construction of the Öresund Bridge, with an overall value of around 818 million euros (DM 1.6 billion). The technical manager was recruited from HOCHTIEF. The company was also responsible for surveying, offshore works and the prefabrication of the bridge girders in Spain. HOCHTIEF has a 26 percent stake in the consortium. The overall project leader is the Swedish construction company Skanska, with 37 percent. The other partners are the two Danish companies Højgaard & Schultz and Monberg & Thorsen, each with 18.5 percent.

In all, this permanent link between Denmark and Sweden is about 16 kilometres in length. It consists of three different structures: from Copenhagen there is a 3.7 kilometre long underwater tunnel, then comes a man-made island of over four kilometres in length and finally the Öresund Bridge itself across to Malmö, with a total length of 7.8 kilometres.

The bridge itself also consists of three parts: the central High Bridge and two approach bridges. The cable-stayed High Bridge is just on 1,100 metres in length and has two separate levels for road and rail traffic. The two approach bridges, of about 2,600 and 3,700 metres respectively, are also twin-level structures. Some 10,000 vehicles a day will be able to use this land link. This will reduce travel time between the two countries to ten minutes, compared with the hour currently needed to cross by ferry.

Almost 1,300 people were involved directly just in the on-the-spot work of constructing the Öresund Bridge. With work now gradually coming to an end, this number has been declining since the spring. Almost all the bridge elements were fabricated on land; the most important production plant was in Cádiz in Southern Spain. The work of lifting and placing the elements was handled by "Svanen", the 8,700 tonne lifting capacity floating crane owned by the HOCHTIEF associated company Ballast Nedam. Satellite navigation ensured total precision.

Bridge building has a long tradition at HOCHTIEF. Among the company‘s most important projects was the Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul that connects Europe and Asia. At the beginning of the 1970s, HOCHTIEF was the lead company in the Anglo-German consortium that constructed this more than 1,600 metre long cable-stayed suspension bridge.

Another milestone was the Great Belt East Bridge, completed in 1998 and linking the Danish capital, Copenhagen, with the mainland. HOCHTIEF was the leader of the international consortium that built this bridge.



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