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Don't Look Down

Located in the Swiss Alps the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has just opened, but at just 64 cm wide and almost half a kilometer long it’s not for the faint-hearted. This is the Europe Bridge.

Opened last week, and offering truly stunning views, the bridge swoops across Switzerland's deepest valley, which stretches between the popular ski resorts of Zermatt and Grächen.

It replaces a hiking trail called Europaweg that ran between the two towns, and also featured a bridge which was blocked, and then damaged by a rock avalanche in 2010.
The previous bridge was only half the length of the Europe Bridge (also known as the Charles Kuonen Bridge), and a mere quarter of the height.
Originally there was no plans to replace the destroyed bridge, but this meant hikers had to descend 500 mteres down and then 500 metres back up to continue their journey.  This proved unpopular and tourist numbers started to drop as a result, and this in turn prompted the creation of the bridge.

The impressive structure was built in just 10 weeks by Swissrope who specialise in bridge and railway technology, and employs 8 tonnes of cables.
A number of factors had to be considered when building it such as the aesthetical impact on the area, which was eased with mesh covered sides, and the logistics of building a bridge so high up, and in such exposed conditions, and such length, which is why a suspension bridge was chosen using tensile cables.

It’s so narrow it can only be crossed in single file, and does require a good set of nerves to cross it, even with a design so high tech it prevents swaying.  The views are incredible though with the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and Bernese Alps all within view if the naked eye.