The Great Belt Fixed link (Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen) is a multi-element fixed link crossing the Great Belt strait between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen. It consists of five structures: a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel between Zealand and the small island Sprogø located in the middle of the Great Belt, and a box girder bridge for both road and rail traffic between Sprogø and Funen. The "Great Belt Bridge" (Danish: Storebæltsbroen) commonly refers to the suspension bridge, although it may also be used to mean the box-girder bridge or the link in its entirety. The suspension bridge, officially known as the East Bridge, has the world's third longest main span (1.6 km), and the longest outside of Asia. It was designed by the Danish engineering firms COWI and Ramboll. The link replaced the ferry service that had been the primary means of crossing the Great Belt. After more than five decades of speculation and debate, the decision to construct the link was made in 1986; the original intent was to complete the railway link three years before opening the road connection, but the link opened to rail traffic in 1997 and road traffic in 1998. At an estimated cost of DKK 21.4 billion (1988 prices), the link is the largest construction project in Danish history. The link has reduced travel times significantly; previously taking about an hour by ferry, the Great Belt can now be crossed in about ten minutes. The construction of the link and the Øresund Bridge have together enabled driving from mainland Europe to Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia through Denmark.
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