Peberholm (literally "Pepper Islet", Swedish: Pepparholm), is a small artificial island located in the Danish part of the Øresund. It forms part of Tårnby municipality. It was created as part of the Øresund Bridge connecting Denmark with Sweden. Peberholm was constructed in the proximity of the small natural island of Saltholm (Salt Islet), and was named to complement it.
Reasons for construction
The main reason for constructing the island was to have a crossover point between the tunnel and the bridge.
The tunnel was built since a bridge spanning the entire link between Malmö and Copenhagen would have interfered with obstacle-free zones around Kastrup Airport. Another reason was to provide an opportunity for large ships to pass the Öresund without worrying about the height of the bridge. To make the Øresund Bridge higher would interfere with the freight train traffic.
The other main reason was that the Øresund had to be dug deeper in order to not decrease the flow of the water because of the bridge. The material was used to create this island. The area was so shallow, and the amount of material so large, that it was chosen to make the island as long as 4 km.
Built to preserve ecology
The original designs for a bridge across the Øresund required extensive use of Saltholm as a stepping-stone for the bridge. They required either the construction of both a motorway and railway across Saltholm or an expansion of the existing island to serve the same purpose.
Both of these options were ultimately abandoned in order to protect the island's ecology; Danish and Swedish politicians decided instead to construct an artificial island immediately south of Saltholm to achieve that goal. The location was chosen in the belief that it would ensure the freest flow of water through the sound, a key element in the debate about whether or not the bridge should be constructed.
Peberholm is protected by strict laws. Only biologists are allowed one annual visit to the areas of the island outside of the railroad and highway to which the island owes its creation.
The island is considered to be a biological experiment. Scientists predicted that nature would colonize it and make the island flourish on its own, without any human interaction whatsoever. As of June 2007, scientists from the Biological Society of Lund had registered 454 species of plants on the island. Also resident to the island as of 2004 were about 20 species of spiders, and approximately 12 species of birds.
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