Öresund Bridge to get first new coat of paint in almost two decades

The Öresund Bridge, which links Denmark and Sweden between Copenhagen and Malmö across the Öresund strait, is to be repainted for the first time since it was opened in 2000.

Öresund Bridge to get first new coat of paint in almost two decades
Lightning strikes the Öresund Bridge during a thunderstorm on June 15th. The lightning strike is not the reason for the new coat of paint. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Work on renovation of the bridge will begin in the autumn, P4 Malmö reports.

The new lick of paint will be the first given to the bridge since its opening in 2000, and is expected to cost around 430 million kronor.

Approximately 300,000 square metres of steelwork will need to be covered by the new paint job.

“The first brush strokes will be made in the autumn and, and it will be finished sometime around 2030-2032. After that, preparations for the next repainting will begin,” said John Alexander Sahlin, head of communications with operating company Öresundsbron.

The Öresund Bridge spans just under eight kilometres from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm, from where it is connected to Danish island Amager via a tunnel.

The bridge was originally painted on land prior to being mounted across the Öresund, but the new painting work presents a different challenge and will take place at sea using special platforms that can move alongside the bridge.

READ ALSO: Öresund crossing sets new Denmark-Sweden traffic record

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Sales of commuter tickets between Denmark and Sweden drop

The number of commuter tickets sold for the Øresund Bridge crossing between Malmö and Copenhagen dropped significantly in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.

Sales of commuter tickets between Denmark and Sweden drop
A train from Malmö arriving in Copenhagen. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sales of 30 day commuter passes by southern Sweden's transport operator Skånetrafiken for the trains between the two cities were down 18.6 percent in February 2017 compared to February 2016, and down 7.5 percent in January 2017 compared to January 2016.

The February drop came despite the initiation of a change designed to streamline the ID checking process at the Danish side of the journey, which has been a thorn in the side of commuters for over a year. As of January 30th they no longer have to go through the time-consuming process of switching to a different platform in order to have their ID verified at Kastrup rail station as they previously did.

Instead, ID is now checked on the same platform from which trains arrive and depart the airport rail station. Danish rail operator DSB introduced the change to the ID checks after 12 months of declining passenger numbers: many people commute between Malmö and Copenhagen and have complained about delays and the time added to their journeys.

A further move to streamline the process was agreed in February, when Denmark gave the go-ahead for Swedish police to board the trains in Copenhagen and then begin ID checks at the Swedish end of the bridge as soon as the train physically crosses the border into Sweden. It is hoped that change can also reduce the inconvenience caused to those who use the trains to commute.

READ ALSO: 'My trip from Copenhagen to Malmö takes an hour and a half. It's laughable.'

Though Sweden and Denmark are both part of the border-free Schengen zone, the temporary ID checks have been in place since January 2016, as the two nations attempted to get to grips with the flow of asylum seekers over the crossing following the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015.