The Great Belt Bridge and Tunnel Construction

This page is the one originally displayed, while the Great Belt Bridge was still under construction - more precisely it was made in 1997. Because of requests, it has been kept on-line.

Currently, a bridge spanning between the two main islands of Denmark, Zealand, on which Copenhagen is located, and Funen, is being constructed. When finished, it will be the World's longest suspension bridge, with a span of 1,624 meters.

[The Great Belt Bridge]

The pylons are 254 meters high, and the bridge sections are placed 75 meters above the surface of the sea. Each bridge section weighs 1,000 tons, and the 2.7 kilometers of road between the two anchors will be put together of 57 such bridge sections.

[Bridge sections are being fitted at the suspension section]

The pylons are 26 meters higher than those of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco in the USA, which for more than 50 years has been the record holder. The main cables are 85 centimeters in diameter, and are spun by 18,648 threads, which are themselves 5 millimeters in diameter.

[The wires for the coming sections are already in place]

Each section of the bridge - 48 meters long - is sailed into position below its final position, and is pulled up like a giant elevator to its final height 75 meters up. Then it is welded together with its neighbour.

[Car ferries handle the car transportation till the bridge opens]

Until the bridge is opened to traffic in June 1998, car ferries continue to handle the traffic between Zealand and Funen. There are already two bridges between Funen and Jutland, so the Great Belt bridge is the final element needed in order to enable driving from one end of Denmark to the other.

[The toll booths are being built]

While the bridge is being finished, the highways leading up to the bridge are also being constructed. The toll booths needed to collect the fare for crossing the bridge are already taking shape.

[The road to the bridge is taking shape]

Although it doesn't look like it, the construction as such is ahead of schedule. The bridge is now scheduled to open on June 14, 1998.

[GPS satellite navigation ensures precision]

To ensure the precision of the construction, the GPS satellite navigational system is being used. Noticed the skull and crossbones on the column? It seems that those who set up the system do not wish anybody to tamper with it...

[The tunnel handles the train traffic]

The bridge is for car traffic. Already finished and in use, are the train tunnels. Since June 1, 1997, all train traffic between Zealand and the Western part of Denmark goes through the tunnels. This has cut the travel time across the Great Belt from one hour to seven minutes!


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Copyright © Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen 1996-2010

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