The Svendborgsund Bridge is a vital link for the infrastructure on South Funen, connecting Funen with the island of Tåsinge and further down the road the islands of Siø and Langeland via The Langeland Bridge, all bound together by Highway 9.
The Bridge over the Sound of Svendborg (Danish: Svendborgsund) was constructed from 1963 to 1966. Until the opening of the bridge in November 1966, ferries between Svendborg and Vindeby on Tåsinge connected the two islands.
The opening of The Svendborgsund Bridge was the last brick in the completion of the new highway across Tåsinge and Langeland, which also included the construction of The Langeland Bridge, which was opened in 1962 and the Siø Bridge, a low bridge between Tåsinge and the small island of Siø, which were completed in 1960.
However, there was quite some resistance against the new bridge, especially from locals on Langeland, who was afraid that The Svendborgsund Bridge would result in an escape from Langeland, when it was made a lot easier to get away from the island on a daily basis.
This scenario came partly true, since very many people on Langeland today works on Funen – and commuting away from Langeland every day, making Highway 9 and The Svendborgsund Bridge a bit of a bootleneck in the rush hours. However, the connection has also opened Tåsinge and Langeland for new inhabitants, there can live on Langeland and work on Funen.
The Svendborgsund Bridge is 1.220 meters long and consists of 25 bridge piers, 11 of them located in the middle of Sound of Svendborg. The middle section of the bridge have been given some extra width (90 meters and a clearance of 33 meters), so that the ferries to the island of Ærø and other ships on the busy Sound of Svendborg can pass under the bridge without getting too close to the bridge.
The car traffic on The Svendborgsund Bridge has also increased during the last years, especially after Highway 9 between Odense and Svendborg on Funen was upgraded from a two lane highway to a four lane motorway in 2009. However, the stretch from Svendborg to ferry harbour in Spodsbjerg on Langeland is still a regular highway, with quite heavy traffic. That said, this part of the Highway 9 is also the most scenic part of the route when crossing through the island of Tåsinge, Siø and Langeland.
Plans for building a bridge across The Sound of Svendborg were already in a planning phase in 1938, when professor and bridge constructer Anker Engelund came up with a plan for an arch bridge from Funen to Tåsinge. However the Second World War and the German occupation of Denmark in 1940 put the plans on hold.
In the middle of fifties the plans came back on the table, and for a while a tunnel below the Sound of Svendborg was considered. However things ended up with the present bridge, which were opened for traffic on the 18th of November 1966.