On Saturday the longest hanging pedestrian bridge in the world opened in Zermatt. The Engineering marvel has been installed in the Swiss Alps near the well known town of Zermatt. Dubbed as the world’s longest hanging suspension bridge, the newly opened structure measures 494 meters in length./ The bridge has been developed in order to replace a different bridge that has been closed since 2010 because of damage that was sustained during a rockfall. This closure meant that hikers wanting to explore this area of the Swiss Alps had to climb 500m down into the valley and then make their way by up the other side. The bridge is a part of the Europaweg trail which is a popular two-day hiking route which is located between the Swiss tons of Zermatt and Grachen. As well as being able to cross this major engineering feature as part of the trail, hikers also have breathtaking views of the 4,478 meter high Matterhorn. The bridge has been fitted with a grated walkway which means that those crossing the record breaking bridge will be able to see the ravine beneath their feet as they cross.
The bridge has been called the longest hanging bridge by the Zermatt Tourist board. However there is a bridge that is similar that hangs 110m higher off the ground in Austria. The pedestrian bridge crosses the Grabengufer ravine and sits 85m off the bottom of the ravine.
The bridge is said to have taken a total of ten weeks to construct and the cables used to hold the structure up alone weigh around 7,257 kg. The structure was engineered and installed by a company called SwissRope. In order to stop the new bridge from swinging too much while in use, and to protect those on the bridge, a bespoke damper was required that featured an anti-swing mechanism. SwissRope are well known for supplying similar suspension bridges in Switzerland and further afield.