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Building Information Modeling/ Virtual Design & Construction
On July 1, 2000, the Öresund Bridge was opened. The Bridge immediately accelerated development and today, the Öresund region is one of Europe’s most dynamic growth regions.
The Öresund Bridge has provided people on both sides of the Strait with opportunities for housing, jobs and studies. Every day, approximately 20,000 individuals commute across the Strait. It takes about ten minutes by car across Öresund, but by train it is much faster. For Sweden, the Bridge is also an important link to the continent.
It was in 1995 that the Öresund consortium awarded the contract to the Sundlink Contractors building consortium for construction of the bridge. Skanska, which has extensive experience in bridge building, was part of Sundlink Contractors, along with three other bridge builders. The gigantic building project required the best possible expertise, material, technology and control.
The Öresund Bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule and within the budget framework. The success was due to excellent cooperation between the client and contractor. All parties were very clear in their communication and worked toward common goals.
The building project was special in many aspects. Naturally, the size of the bridge made the project highly complicated and required enormous precision. The weather and sea currents occasionally caused concerns. It also involved minimizing disruptions to shipping activities in Öresund. The bridge connected two countries, the construction companies were from several different countries and the bridge sections were manufactured in Spain and Sweden. A maximum of 1,300 individuals worked on the Öresund Bridge.
The bridge is 16 kilometers long and comprises 7.8 kilometers of bridge, the 4-kilometer artificial island Peberholm, a 3.5 kilometer underground tunnel and a 0.5-kilometer artificial peninsula at Kastrup. Skanska built the bridge itself.
Petter StänkelströmSkanska Sweden+46 10 44 88 550
Mejl Petter Stänkelström
Marknadssegment: Bridges, Railways
The Öresund Bridge is a link between Sweden and Denmark. There had been plans for such a link for more than 100 years and this highly desirable bridge now connects the neighboring countries. For Sweden, the Öresund link also means a link to the continent.
The Öresund region has developed; a region that extends from Sweden to Denmark. The bridge has made it easier to live in one country and work in another. Many people also use their cars or the train for outings, shopping and vacation.
Originally, the Öresund Bridge was to be built to the island of Saltholm. For environmental reasons, the artificial island of Peberholm was created instead.
When the bridge was to be built, an intense debate ensued about the environmental consequences. One person who was completely against the bridge was the then Environmental Minister, Olof Johansson, who elected to resign in protest.
However, the Öresund Bridge seems to be good for the environment. The bridge pillars attract organisms that would otherwise have difficulty finding somewhere else to live. For example, there are up to 140,000 mussels per square meter living on the bridge pillars. Mussels that in turn are food for cod, for example.
The Öresund Bridge, the much desired link between Sweden and Denmark, was completed in 2000. Skanska was part of the Sundlink Contractors’ consortium, along with the German company Hochtief, as well as Højgaard & Schultz and Monberg & Thorsen from Denmark. The four companies belonged to the bridge-building elite and jointly created a bridge that generated major worldwide attention.
The building project has been described as a gigantic puzzle, which was built piece by piece. It was precision work that required satellite navigation, engineering skills and the expertise of craftsmen.
In order to cause as little disruption as possible to shipping activities, the eastern connecting bridge and the high-level bridge were constructed first. When work was in the final phase, the western connecting bridge was built.
The Öresund Bridge comprises three sections – two connecting bridges and a high-level bridge. The bridge was built in two stories, one roadway and a lower level for the railway. The high-level bridge comprises a diagonal-cable bridge, the longest in the world, with both railway and motorway. The two bridge towers are 203.5 meters high, thus making the Öresund Bridge Sweden’s highest structure. The main span is 490 meters long and the vertical clearance is 57 meters.
The focal point for the complicated bridge construction was the head office in Norra Hamnen in Malmö. This was the headquarters. We also built our own concrete station here and a harbor that was specially adapted for the automatic pontoon crane, Svanen, which transported caissons and other materials to the bridge line.
Caissons (bridge base), pillars for the connecting bridges, the roadway for the high-level bridge and the trench for the railway tracks for the connecting bridges were manufactured at the concrete station. The heaviest caisson weighed 4,700 tons. Concrete corresponding to 128 Olympic-size swimming pools were used. We monitored the concrete in a special laboratory to ensure top-class sustainability.
The bridge project commenced with the installation of the abutments at Lernacken in Malmö, and at Peberholm, the artificial island in the middle of Öresund. At Peberholm, a 560-meter viaduct was also constructed, which is connected to the abutment on the Danish side.
After that, it was time for the bridge line, meaning the stretch through the sea where the bridge will be located. The sea floor was dredged and prepared for the caissons, which will bear the pillars and pylons. The dredged masses, 240,000 cubic meters, were used as filling in Norra Hamnen and to build Peberholm.
When the sea floor was prepared, the caissons for the connecting bridges were transported to the bridge line from Norra Hamnen using the pontoon crane, Svanen. The gigantic pontoon crane could lift 8,700 tons and was a floating workplace.
The pylon caissons for the high-level bridge weighed 20,000 tons and were transported to the bridge line using a specially built pontoon catamaran. Since the pylon caissons had to be placed in exactly the right location, we used the satellite navigation system GPS, and surveillance from divers and underwater cameras; an enormous operation that had to be executed with precision. The caissons were finally cast to the bottom.
The pylons themselves (high-level bridge pillars) were cast at sea. They were built at a speed of four meters in eight days and the final height is an impressive 203.5 meters. Sweden’s highest structure!
The high-level bridge sections rest on two cross bars but are primarily born by 80 pairs of cables. A total of 25 kilometers of cables were used.
A total of 400 individuals were involved in offshore work. The various shifts went out to the bridge line from Limhamn, where there was also a reinforcement station for pylons and spare-parts storage.
Offshore working conditions were periodically fantastic, with brilliant sunshine and glittering waves, changing suddenly in a second to harsh winds and strong sea currents. The various bridge sections were produced at several different locations – from Cadiz in Spain to Karlskrona in Sweden.
Tests, controls and painting
Numerous tests and controls were required for the major bridge construction. Wind-tunnel tests, erosion tests and test casting were conducted. Concrete quality, steel structures and welding were examined continuously.
The Öresund Bridge was painted using several layers of primer and two layers of intermediate paint. A total of 260,000 liters of paint were used.
• 51 caissons (bridge bases) were cast. The height varied between 12 and 20 meters. The heaviest weighed 4,700 tons, the lightest 2,500 tons.
• 51 pillars were cast, on which the connecting bridges rested. The height varied between 10 and 51 meters. The weight was between 800 and 3,500 tons.
• 320,000 tons of concrete were used, corresponding to 128 Olympic-size swimming pools.
• For one pylon caisson, holes were excavated corresponding to 38x40 meters on the sea floor. For the smaller caissons, holes corresponding to 20x20 meters and 20x26 meters were dug. The holes were 6-10 meters deep.
• The pylons on the high-level bridge are 203.5 meters – Sweden’s highest structure.
• The pylon caissons weighed 20,000 tons.
• The main span on the high-level bridge is 490 meters long, vertical clearance is 57 meters.
• 25 kilometers of cable was used for the high-level bridge. 80 pairs of cables were installed and each individual cable has a breaking strength of 2,000 tons.
• 240,000 cubic meters of dredged masses were used as filling in Norra Hamnen and for building Peberholm.
• The heaviest section weighed 6,900 tons. Together with the pontoon Svanen’s lifting tool of 1,800 tons, lifting ability of 8,700 tons was used.
• A cable comprises 70 sub-cables.
• The bridge was painted using 260,000 liters of paint.