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NEW SWISS SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Wednesday August 9, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It's the longest steel pedestrian suspension bridge in the world with some eye-watering statistics. Could you walk across it?

 

It has just opened in Switzerland linking the hiking trail between Grächen and Zermatt.

The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is 494m long and sits 85m off the ground at its lowest point.

It's a narrow bridge, only 65cm wide, that stretches like a thin wire mesh across the deep valley.

Incredibly, it took engineers from Swissrope and Lauber cableways a mere 10 weeks to construct the bridge.

Staggering Bridge stats:

  • It opened on 29 July above Randa
  • Length: 494m
  • Width: 65cm
  • Height: 85m
  • Diameter of the two cables: 53mm
  • Weight of the cables: 8 tonnes
  • Accessible from Randa: 2.5 hours
  • Takes 10 minutes to cross
  • Took 10 weeks to install the bridge
  • Special hydraulic cylinders prevent the bridge from swinging
  • Steel mesh walkway

The new bridge replaces an earlier bridge damaged by rock falls that was finally closed in 2010 and it sits about 200m below the old one.

The steel bridge connects two sections of a walking trail between Grächen and Zermatt that is called the Europaweg trail.

It's a high altitude route taking in some spectacular views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, the Bernese Alps and more.

Hikers will be delighted that the new bridge has opened as it saves valuable time and energy from a traipse down to the valley floor and then a gruelling hike up on the other side.

It cuts the journey across the valley from 3 to 4 hours to a comfortable 10 minutes.

Hikers can access it from Randa in around 2 hours, or between 6 to 7 hours from Zermatt.

The total journey time between Zermatt and Grächen is about two days.

In a press release, the Zermatt Tourist Office promised "thrills above the precipice," but with a 85m drop and a see-through mesh walkway spanning 494m it's not the best must-cross bridge if you suffer from vertigo - and the Tourist Office confirms the bridge is only “for hikers with no fear of heights”.

Drone Footage of the bridge span:


The construction engineers certainly had a good head for heights as they pieced the bridge together in the video below, standing on some wobbly platforms:

The video below shows the factory construction of steel cables making up sections of the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge:

Some stunning photographs below posted by the bridge manufacturers Swissrope (photos: Facebook):

Single file across Charles Kuonen Suspension BridgeSingle file across Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

949m long - Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge494m long - Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Kuonen Suspension BridgeCharles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Kuonen Suspension BridgeSingle file across Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Kuonen Suspension BridgeCharles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

949m long494m long - Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

949m long - Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge494m long - Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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