The Great Belt Bridge (Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen) connects the islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt. The bridge consists of three parts: a suspension bridge (East Bridge), an undersea tunnel from Zeeland to Spoo Island, and a box girder bridge (West Bridge) from Spoo Island to Funen Island. People usually refer to the East Bridge as the Great Belt Bridge.
The Great Belt Bridge is located 120 kilometers west of Copenhagen, connecting Denmark's largest city, the island of Zealand, where the capital Copenhagen is located, and the island of Funen, where the third largest city, Odense, is located. The distance between the two islands is about 18 kilometers.
Calculated at 1988 prices, the actual cost of the Great Belt Bridge was 33.7 billion Danish kroner, or about 4.8 billion US dollars, the highest budget bridge project in Europe at that time. Such a high cost already speaks to the bridge's importance and grand scale. Let's learn more about the actual size of the Great Belt Bridge in this post.
Description of the Great Belt Bridge Size
The Great Belt Bridge combines a two-lane railway and a four-lane highway, with the island of Spoor in the middle of the Great Belt Strait as an intermediate station. The project is divided into three parts, the East Bridge for highways, the East Submarine Tunnel for railways, and the West Bridge for both railways and roads. The bridge's construction started in June 1987, the entire railway line opened to traffic in June 1997, and the highway bridge opened in August 1998. Due to the high costs, the Great Belt Bridge became the first road bridge in Denmark to charge a user fee.
Dimensions of the Great Belt Bridge
- The West Bridge is a box girder bridge for cars and trains, totaling 6,612 meters. The bridge deck is 25 meters wide and 18 meters high; it has 62 piers, 51 bridge holes with a span of 110 meters, and 12 bridge holes with a span of 81 meters.
- The East Bridge is a 4-lane road suspension bridge with a total length of 6,790 meters. It is a suspension bridge with a double-tower structure. The longest span between the two bridge towers is 1,624 meters. With a deck width of 31 meters and a tower height of 254 meters, it is the highest point of fixed buildings in Denmark. The bridge deck is 65 meters high and can pass large ships.
- The double-tube tunnel is special for a railway with a total length of 7,410 meters, which consists of two main tunnels of 7.7 meters in diameter. There is also an emergency evacuation channel every 250 meters between the two main tunnels.
|Features||West Bridge||East Bridge||Submarine Tunnel|
|Usage||highway and railway||only highway||only railway|
|Total Length||6,612 m||6,790 m||7,410 m|
|Width||25 m||31 m||7.7 m|
|Longest Span||110 m||1,624 m||-|
|Clearance Below||18 m||65 m||-|
When the bridge opened, it was the second longest and was defeated by the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which opened a few months ago. Undoubtedly, the Great Belt Bridge is one of the most complex sea-crossing projects in the world. The Great Belt Bridge has greatly shortened the traffic time between the two islands, and it only takes 10 minutes to drive a car across the bridge. Along with the Oresund Bridge, the Great Belt Bridge also connects continental Europe in the west and Scandinavia in the north, linking most of the European Union.