Denmark consists of the Jutland peninsula and more than 400 islands of which the largest are Zealand and Funen. Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, is located on Zealand. Among the many ferry routes which have linked the Danish islands for centuries, by far the most important has been the route across the Great Belt between Funen and Zealand. Over the years, however, storms and hard winters have frequently disrupted ferry services across the Great Belt. On June 12, 1986 the Danish Parliament approved the construction of a fixed link across the Great Belt.
Following 12 years of intensive construction work, H.M. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark inaugurated on June 14th 1998 what had then become the largest engineering project in the history of Denmark, The Great Belt Fixed Link – the Storebaelt Bridge. The Link comprises the East Bridge, a 6,790 m long suspension bridge between Zealand and the small island of Sprogø, a 6,611 m long combined rail and road bridge between Sprogø and Funen and an 8,000 m long immersed rail tunnel between Zealand and Sprogø. At 254 m above sea level, the East Bridge’s two pylons are the highest points in Denmark.
Barring unforeseen events and special weather conditions, the Great Belt is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since the bridge runs in an east/ west direction and the predominant wind direction in Denmark is from the west, even strong winds are only expected to affect traffic for a few hours a year.
WIRELOCK® was chosen by COWICONSULT Engineers and Planners to be used on all 424 sockets on the 212 hangers which secure the bridge in place, over a distance of 1,524 metres between pillars. The ropes manufactured by Gruppo Redaelli Tecna have diameters of 65mm, 75 and 98mm, and are fully locked coil with an outer sheath of high density polyethylene.