Bridge linking Denmark to Sweden to get new lick of paint in 13-year operation

ORESUND (Reuters) – The nearly eight-kilometer (five mile) bridge linking Denmark and Sweden is to get a new lick of paint for the first time since it opened for traffic in 2000, but it will take an estimated 13 years to complete the mega-project.

The Oresund Bridge, made famous by the Nordic noir TV crime series ‘The Bridge’, needs the fresh coat of paint to maintain its steel structure. The project will involve painting some 300,000 square meters of bridge.

“The top layer of the five-layer painting system will wear out within the next 10 years, so we have to apply a new top layer to be able to maintain the lower levels, which protect the steel from corrosion,” project manager Johan Nord told Reuters.

The bridge was last painted in sections on land before being assembled over the waterway. This time, a special platform has had to be mounted beside the bridge, with the workmen hanging from gantry cranes over the Oresund strait.

“It’s a very special job because you are working 20 to 30 meters above sea level hanging in gantry cranes to get access to the bridge,” Chief Executive of Muehlhan Denmark, Jens Mork, said.

German industrial service provider Muehlhan has been chosen for the first two years of the project, which will see an area equivalent to 42 soccer fields painted black.

Mork said he expected to use up to 200,000 liters of paint for the entire project.

(This story officially corrects after CEO says work will use 200,000 liters of paint, not between 300,000 and 400,000 liters)

(Reporting by Andreas Mortensen; Editing by Gareth Jones and Andrew Heavens)