BYLINE: Sven Landelius

Managing Director, Øresundsbro Konsortiet

Following a five-year construction period, the Øresund fixed link between Denmark and Sweden will open on July 1 2000. It is with great satisfaction that my colleagues and I can look back on a job well done. We have managed to plan, construct and finish a major state-of-the-art infrastructure project ahead of schedule and within budget.

Two countries are now linked by a new double-track railway and four-lane motorway. The Øresund strait has been for centuries a physical and mental barrier, and now some 3·2million people on both sides will be able to cross it with ease.

The fixed link is a concrete manifestation of the two countries’ vision - a vision of integration, co-operation, development and growth, which, until today, has been hard to make out. The vision is that the citizens of the two countries will use this opportunity for improved mobility and communication to such an extent that new synergies will arise. That business and industry, universities and the cultural life on both sides of the Øresund will explore the possibilities of this new, larger market.

At Øresundsbro Konsortiet we have seen ourselves as a catalyst for change. We have helped to show the way in the hope that politicians at all levels, industry and the public in general would create their own vision for the Øresund region. New ideas are taking shape every day in all fields, ideas that cross borders. The focus has shifted from strictly national interests to the possibilities offered by the Øresund region of Denmark and Sweden.

With København Airport at its hub, this new region is receiving infrastructure investment totalling DKr100bn. Prime development sites close to the Øresund fixed link, the airport and the centres of København and Malm