The Little Belt Bridge

Photo: COWI

​As part of the Danish motorway system the Little Belt Bridge links the second largest Danish island Funen with the Danish peninsula Jutland and thus with the European mainland.

The bridge is a 6-lane suspension bridge with a main span of 600 m and two side spans, each 240 m. The total length of the structure including approach spans is 1,700 m, and the
navigational clearance of the main span is 42 m. The bridge was opened to traffic in 1970.

Substructure

Each pylon is founded on 210 Nos. prefabricated reinforced concrete piles, 38 x 48 cm, which were driven 30 m into a very hard tertiary clay. The piers for the pylons were shaped
by caissons with bottom dimensions of 56 x 22 m, constructed in a dry dock and subsequently towed to the bridge site. Here they were connected to the piles by concreting the bottom chambers around the pile tops in compressed air. The pylon legs, which reach a height of 121 m above sea level, were cast in climbing shutters. The two buried anchor blocks with
their wing-shaped bottom slab resist 17,000 tonnes force from the main cables and weigh about 70,000 tonnes each.

Superstructure

The shape of the closed steel box girder was determined by wind tunnel tests. The girder is 3.0 m deep and 33 m wide and is suspended every 12 m in vertical hanger cables. The girder was manufactured in a shipyard in 12 m sections, which were hauled to the bridge site, where they were welded into 24 m sections. After erection these sections were welded together to form the completed box girder. Each of the two 1,500 m main cables was built up of 61 Nos. prefabricated strands, 55 Nos. of which had a diameter of 69 mm.

Viaducts

The approach viaducts on land span 31 m. The deck slab was cast in-situ on top of prefabricated, pre-stressed concrete girder, which were braced by prefabricated, pre-stressed cross girders. The 12 m wide viaduct piers are wave-shaped reinforced concrete walls, topped by a 27 m long prestressed concrete cross girder.

LAST UPDATED: 14.03.2017