Construction began in 1995. The last section was constructed on 14 August 1999. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met midway to celebrate its completion. The official inauguration took place on 1 July 2000, with Queen Margrethe II, and King Carl XVI Gustaf, presiding. The bridge was opened for traffic later that day. Before the inauguration 79,871 runners competed in a half marathon (Broloppet, the Bridge Run) from Amager (in Denmark) to Skåne (in Sweden) on 12 June, 2000. The bridge was finished three months ahead of schedule.
Initially the usage of the bridge was not as high as expected, which was generally attributed to the expense of crossing. However, 2005 and 2006 saw a rapid increase in the volume of traffic on the bridge. This phenomenon may be due to Danes buying homes in Sweden and commuting to work in Denmark, because the price of housing in Malmö is lower than in Copenhagen. In 2008, a single car ride across the bridge cost DKK 260, SEK 325 or €36 (however, discounts of up to 75% are available for regular users). In 2007, almost 25 million people travelled over the bridge, 15.2 million in cars and buses and 9.6 million by train.