Today marks 15 years since the Øresund Bridge was opened and the first cars could pass between Denmark and Sweden with uncomplicated ease.
Since then, the two countries have been tied together in an unlikely union. But the union of the two neighbouring countries got off to a slow start, Øresund Bridge marketing manager, Karsten Längerich, told DR.
House prices lead to bridge boom
“Just after the opening in 2000, traffic was much slower than expected. It remained relatively quiet right through to 2002-03,” he said.
The big boom of bridge travellers came in 2005, when house prices in Denmark reached an all-time high.
Danes began moving to Sweden, but kept their jobs in Denmark and commuted back and forth across the bridge.
“At the same time, there was high levels of unemployment in Malmö. Consequently, the Swedes realised that it was a good idea to get a job in Denmark and do the daily commute,” said Längerich.
The other side
According to Längerich, the Øresund region has become far more integrated than anticipated.
“Businesses can now take advantage of increased capabilities, and the bridge has opened up Copenhagen and Malmö to make them much larger cities,” he added.
Today, over 19,000 cars pass over Øresund bridge each day, and there is still plenty of opportunity for the figures to rise even higher.
“Of course, we imagine that the bridge will be used more and more in the future. I still believe there are many who do not really know what’s going on over on the other side.”