Construction drafts for a fixed link were presented as early as the 1850s, with several suggestions appearing in the following decades.The Danish State Railways, responsible for the ferry service, presented plans for a bridge in 1934.
The concepts of bridges over Øresund (152m DKK) and Storebælt (257m DKK) were calculated around 1936.The design was carried out by the engineering firms COWI and Ramboll together with Dissing Weitling architecture practice. In 1991, Finland sued Denmark at the International Court of Justice, on the grounds that Finnish-built mobile offshore drilling units would be unable to pass beneath the bridge.Some radio masts, such as Tommerup transmitter, are taller.To keep the main cables tensioned, an anchorage structure on each side of the span is placed below the road deck. They were scheduled for a 15million DKK paint job, but due to corroding cables on other bridges, the decision was made to instead install a 70million DKK sealed de-humidifying system in the cables.The Great Belt ferries entered service between the coastal towns of Korsør and Nyborg in 1883, connecting the railway lines on either side of the Belt.
In 1957, road traffic was moved to the Halsskov–Knudshoved route, about 1.5 kilometres to the north and close to the fixed link.
The plan was to open it in 1993, giving the trains a head start of three years over road traffic, but train traffic started in 1997 and road traffic in 1998.
During construction the sea bed gave way and one of the tunnels was flooded.
Only by placing a clay blanket on the sea bed was it possible to dry out the tunnels.
The two damaged machines were repaired and the majority of the tunnelling was undertaken from the Sprogø side.
Construction and maintenance are financed by tolls on vehicles and trains.