Engineering

Human-Testing: 600 people on longest suspension cable bridge

Germany’s longest and highest suspension rope bridge has been tested by 600 people at the same time, and…. nothing happen. That is a real stress-release.

Real test of courage

The crossing of the Mörsdorfer Brook at the edge of the Hunsrück, near the wine town Cochem on the Moselle, is an assault on the senses: whoever enters the Geierlay bridge, his life six spiral ropes with approximately 4 cm diameter entrusts. These alone bear the 62 tons dead weight of the bridge that spans 360 m long across the Valley.

Photo: SONY DSC
Photo: SONY DSC

Up to 600 people can simultaneously embrace the risk, to cross the Creek at 100 m height. There is many people ones. This is not surprising, because the Geierlay bridge is the longest suspension cable Bridge North of the Alps.

“Suspension bridge in the Tibetan style”

The idea for the bridge eight years ago. “At that time the village has dealt with the question, how we could make it more attractive”, tells Mörsdorfs Mayor Marcus Kirchhoff.

“So the idea to build one of the nearby Moselle river valleys with a suspension bridge in the Tibetan style.”

As April Fool’s day dismissed disappeared the idea in the drawer. But the bridges fool Kirchhoff didn’t let loose and made it. Planned and built the rope suspension bridge by engineer was Hans priests from Chur in the Switzerland, because he understands such windy Valley crossings. It was inaugurated on 3 October 2015. And since then the bravest bridges fans on the Moselle river flow. 200,000 people over the bridge were gone by June.

Photo: SONY DSC
Photo: SONY DSC

Tension stop the swaying of the bridge

Great fear needs however to have nobody that crosses the bridge. You stretches over the Valley, that the fluctuations are minimal even with wind. Because the entire structure is backed up by parabolic guyed ropes of wind load side in addition.

The bridge is supported by six cables. Two Dahtseile form the handrail at the same time, each a pair of cable runs left and right under the floor. The six cables on each side with pylons, which absorb the tensile forces, but also the lateral wind forces and lead to the foundations are connected. These range 25 m into the rock.

Photo: SONY DSC
Photo: SONY DSC

On the floor construction, the designers could assemble wooden planks, which versprerren to look into the depth. As a result, some anxious with fear of heights can cross the bridge. However they should then look handrails to the page or on the. Because there are up to 100 m in depth.

Photo: SONY DSC
Photo: SONY DSC

And that’s to create many. After the video documents of the webcam on the South side of the bridge reverses every fifth, would rather wander the valley floor. Nevertheless, the bridge for the small community of Hunsrück is a tourist hit. Visitors counted the 200,000 on June 12, 2016.

Bridge crossing the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig

The construction of the Geierlay bridge cost 1.2 million euro. You cross the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig between stage 19 and 20 and is an integral part of the two Geierlay circuits. Access to the Geierlay is surprisingly bureaucratic for German conditions. No cashier blocks the way for the compulsory toll. You can just top go.

Photo: SONY DSC
Photo: SONY DSC

The longest rope suspension bridge in the Alps is by the way not much bigger. Stretches near Reutte and length of 406 m and 114 m high. If that also does not enough for you, we would have still the highest rope bridge in the world with glass bottom. However it is still built in China.