Storebælt Bridge 1998

Storebælt Bridge 1998

© Carsten Heyde

Storebælt Bridge

Bridge and tunnel that links Eastern and Western Denmark

Key Facts

Also known as the Great Belt Bridge

The largest construction project in Danish history

Major development in cable spinning using Dr. William Brown’s controlled tension method


Funen, Denmark

Across the Great Belt

Links Eastern and Western Denmark

between Halsskov and Sprogø

Designers / Engineers



Dissing+Weitling Architects


Suspension bridge with box-girder deck

1,624m main span

6,790m total length

Connecting Communities

Part of a fixed link, with the Oresund and Littlebaelt bridges, that enables fast and safe transit from Western Europe and Denmark to Sweden


Began October 1991

Opened 14 June 1998

The Bridge

In the late 1990s, Bill Brown’s methods of construction were being used to considerable advantage on the construction of the Storebaelt East Bridge in Denmark. He worked as the technical director for construction and erection equipment for the contractor Coinfra. In this role, he prepared deck erection schemes and designed purpose-built equipment for the new bridge, which was part of a crossing of 18 kilometres in length, comprising two bridges and a railway tunnel connecting the Danish islands of Zealand and Sprogø.

During this project, Bill implemented a highly efficient technique for cable-spinning. An impressive 20,000 tonnes of galvanised steel wire was spun by two alternating shifts of 25 men in three months. It beat all previous records by a wide margin and reduced the suspension cable costs. The new aerial spinning system was a further development of his controlled-tension method and solved many cable spinning problems. According to engineering journalist Sydney Lenssen, writing in New Civil Engineer magazine in November 1996, “It will take the art of suspension bridges another step further.”

The Storebaelt East Bridge was officially opened on 14 June 1998. It brings the eastern and western parts of Denmark together, providing a crucial link for road and rail traffic across the region.

Other long-span bridges