“The double-track Marieholm Bridge and the Port Line are crucial if freight transport to the port is to work effectively. More than half of the containers destined for the port already arrive by rail instead of by road. In the future, the number will increase even further,” said Magnus Kårestedt, Gothenburg Port Authority Chief Executive.
The rail link across the river has up to now been the most vulnerable point along the Port Line. If the only bridge that existed were to be damaged, or could not be closed, it would have major implications for industry. Analyses made by the Swedish Transport Administration showed that a stoppage lasting more than one week would cost industry in excess of 100 million kronor per day.
Fact file: Expansion of the Port Line
Under the National Plan, construction of the South Marieholm Bridge was only due to commence in 2018. To speed up the process, the City of Gothenburg, the Port of Gothenburg, the Västra Götaland Region and Volvo went in as co-financiers. Together, they contributed 315 million kronor, of which the Port of Gothenburg invested 85 million kronor. The project is also partly funded by the EU.
The expansion of the Port Line comprises five sections, including the South Marieholm Bridge. The two first sections, the South Marieholm Bridge and the Kville marshalling yard, have already been completed. Four of the stages are included in the Transport Administration National Plan. The fifth section runs between the Kville marshalling yard and Eriksberg. The assessment is that the final stage will be needed eventually although for the time being the first four sections offer a sufficiently large increase in capacity.