Danish researchers have concluded that the nearly decade-old Öresund Bridge linking Sweden and Denmark is insufficient, proposing that a tunnel also be built between the two countries to facilitate the region’s growth.
The study, led by Otto Anker Nielsen, a professor in traffic patterns with the Centre for Traffic and Transport at the Technical University of Denmark, found that building a tunnel between Helsingborg on Sweden’s west coast, and the Danish city of Helsingör, would benefit the region and relieve stress on the Öresund Bridge.
According to Anker Nielsen, a transport link between the two towns is the best solution to cope with the region's expected future growth.
“The H-H connection is profitable from both an operational and societal perspective and is therefore clearly the best solution,” he writes, according to the Sydsvenskan newspaper.
The tunnel, he argues, will reduce congestion as well as contribute to the integration of the Öresund region.
The report was carried out at the request of IBU-Öresund, a cooperative infrastructure development project between communities in both Sweden and Denmark and includes four different proposals for tunnels ranging in price from 11 billion to 19 billion kronor ($142 – 270 million).
The least expensive proposal is for a tunnel only large enough for passenger trains, while the priciest suggestion includes funds for a both a cargo and passenger rail line, as well as an additional third stretch from Helsingborg to the Danish town of Snekkersten, and then on to Helsingör.
The third stretch would have a cargo rail track, as well as a track for a high speed passenger train with direct connections to Copenhagen.
The tunnel proposals were received well by regional politicians in southern Sweden.
“Another crossing is needed. In the future even more will be transported by rail so that makes initiatives like this a must,” Jerker Swanstein, chair of Region Skåne’s governing board, told Sydsvenskan.
He hopes that a tunnel connecting Helsingborg and Helsingör will be completed sometime between 2020 and 2025, but admits there is still work to be done to convince both the Swedish and Danish governments to invest in the project.