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Ever higher and longer – boom of the suspension bridges – how much longer will it last? – News


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In Europe there is a real competition for the longest bridge. They are considered a tourist magnet. But for how long?

Switzerland once had the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. But only for three years. In the meantime, the Charles Kuonen Bridge in Randa (VS), built in 2017, has been surpassed by bridges in Portugal and the Czech Republic.

In the German Rothaargebirge, the second largest suspension bridge for pedestrians is also to be opened in autumn. But in this country too, new bridges are built practically every year – currently mainly in Graubünden and Ticino. In Brig-Glis (VS) there is a project for what is after all the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

The Triftbrücke was built in the eastern Bernese Oberland almost 20 years ago. She helped usher in the bridge boom in Switzerland. Shortly after completion, however, it had to be replaced. The builders had underestimated the strong foehn winds that shook the bridge. But not only that called for a new building.

Big rush

The Triftbrücke was intended for alpinists and mountaineers, but the rush was so great that it became dangerous for many. Inexperienced hikers had to fight their way down a steep slope. Therefore, a larger bridge was built, which was easier to reach and better anchored in the rock with steel cables.

Bridge

Legend:

Has been attracting people since 2013: the new Trift Bridge in the Bernese Oberland.

key stone

The bridge has been standing for 13 years – and still attracts thousands of people every year. “My kiosk only survives thanks to the bridge – 90 percent of the guests are here because of you,” says Marcel Guinand, who runs a kiosk in an old wooden chalet at the valley station of the Triftbahn.

The Triftbrücke has caused a lot of good things in the valley.

“People come here from all over the world. Some keep coming back, »says Guinand.

The bridge triggered a lot in the valley and created jobs, says the kiosk owner and construction manager of the municipality of Innertkirchen, to which the Trift region belongs. For example, Guinand refers to the opening of a hotel and the establishment of a bed and breakfast.

portrait

Legend:

Kiosk owner Marcel Guinand is convinced: without the bridge, the region would lack many guests.

SRF/Thomas Pressmann

No wonder bridge building continues – in the Alps, but also in the rest of Europe. There are also suspension bridges for pedestrians on Lake Thun, built by the Panorama Rundweg Thunersee association.

Hope because of bridge

President Jerun Vils would like more bridges in the region. “We hope to inspire even more people for the region.” Bridges are a good way to do this: “A bridge is a highlight on the hiking trail and fascinates people – whether from the region or from far away.” So there are plans to create three more bridges.

Bridge

Legend:

The ten-year-old bridge in Sigriswil attracts a lot of people – even though it costs something to cross.

key stone

Tourism researcher Monika Bandi also notes that tourism regions are increasingly relying on bridges. “Bridges are relatively easy to build. They don’t cost very much and are in most cases compatible with the Spatial Planning Act.”

There are slowly but surely enough bridges.

But the tourism researcher also notes a saturation. «Bridges are becoming more and more standard features in a tourist region. That means they are losing some of their appeal – as was the case with summer toboggan runs a few years ago.”

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