The bridge runs nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm, which lies in the middle of the strait. The remainder of the link is by a 4 km (2.5 miles) tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager. The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, and connects two major metropolitan areas: Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the major Swedish city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of Scandinavia with those of Central and Western Europe.
The international European route E20 crosses via the road, the Oresund Line via the railway. The construction of the Great Belt Fixed Link, connecting Zealand to Funen and thence to the Jutland Peninsula, and the Øresund Bridge have connected Central and Western Europe to Scandinavia by road and rail. The Øresund Bridge was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing+Weitling.
The justification for the additional expenditure and complexity related to digging a tunnel for part of the way, rather than raising that section of the bridge, was to avoid interfering with air traffic from the nearby Copenhagen International Airport, to provide a clear channel for ships in good weather or bad, and to prevent ice floes from blocking the strait. The Øresund Bridge crosses the border between Denmark and Sweden, but in accordance with the Schengen Agreement and the Nordic Passport Union, there are usually no passport inspections. There are random customs checks at the entrance toll booths entering Sweden, but not when entering Denmark.
The Øresund Bridge received the 2002 IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.