The Öresund crossing between Copenhagen and Malmö opened in July 2000, and has since become an international icon thanks to the success of joint Swedish-Danish TV show The Bridge, which sees detectives from both countries team up to solve murders on either side of the crossing.
Now, after 16 years of coping with intensive use as well as the unforgiving Scandinavian weather, the structure’s steel truss needs to be repainted for its protection.
In total, 300,000 square metres will be given two new layers of colour to combat corrosion, and the mammoth project is no quick job. Work on the eight-kilometre-long bridge section of the crossing is expected to start in 2019, and won’t be finished until 2032.
For some perspective on how long that is, consider that by the time the painting is finished, at least four US presidential elections will have taken place.
“The current paint is in relatively good condition. We’ve done some repair painting when needed, so as a result none of the layers need to be removed, we will only paint two new layers on top,” Bengt Hergart, facilities director at the Öresund Bridge Consortium which runs the crossing, told the company’s newsletter.
The workers tasked with adding the new layers of paint will have a bigger challenge on their hands than those who came before them. While the original five layers were dished out from the comfort of an indoor environment before the bridge was assembled, the new licks of paint will have to be done on the bridge itself.
That means painters will have trains passing them at a speed of 200 km/h, a busy highway creating plenty of noise nearby, and the potential for poor weather conditions in the rainy region to make things even more taxing.
Wish them luck.