The two bridges seen from Frei
|Total length||292 metres (958 ft)|
Omsund Bridge (Norwegian: Omsundbrua) is a bridge that crosses the Omsundet between the islands of Frei and Nordlandet in Kristiansund Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is actually made up of two bridges, since the main bridge does not span the entire strait. The main bridge crosses form Nordlandet to the islet of Rensvikholmen and then a smaller bridge completes the crossing to Frei.
Prior to the merger of Kristiansund Municipality and Frei Municipality on 1 January 2008, the bridges marked the border between the two municipalities. The original bridge was in use from 1940 until 1981. The second bridge is currently in use, and a third bridge is now in the planning stages. The bridge lies just south of the Kristiansund Airport, Kvernberget.
The 200-metre (660 ft) long original bridge is a steel through arch bridge. It is still standing, but is not in regular use. The Omsund Bridge was opened for traffic in April 1940, but with no opening ceremony because of World War II. Local young men just tore down the barricades in the middle of the night. On 22 April 1940, German bombers tried to destroy the new bridge, but missed and managed only to kill 15 year old Ingolf Vatten on a bike several hundred meters away on Frei, and set the forest on fire on Nordlandet. In May, the new bridge was crucial during the emergency evacuation of the burning of Kristiansund.
This bridge to Frei made it possible to shorten the ferry trip between Kristiansund and Gjemnes Municipality on the mainland by 15 kilometres (9.3 mi), when a new road crossing Frei was completed in the 1940s. The ferry was finally replaced with the undersea Freifjord Tunnel in 1992 as part of the Kristiansund Mainland Connection.
The old bridge was replaced in 1981, but it finally opened "officially" in a ceremony on 24 April 2005, 65 years late, and 24 years after it was replaced. It was then made accessible again for pedestrians and cyclists, and protected as an important sample of Norwegian bridges built in the 1930s.
A new 292-metre (958 ft) long concrete cantilever bridge, with two lanes and a fenced walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. It was built right alongside of the old, narrow bridge in 1981. The bridge carries Norwegian National Road 70.
On 18 March 2010, preliminary plans for a new 600-metre (2,000 ft) long replacement bridge were unveiled, as a part of a future highway to Kristiansund.
- List of bridges in Norway
- List of bridges in Norway by length
- List of bridges
- List of bridges by length