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© Robert Bösch
© Thomas Madlener
© Thomas Madlener
© Robert Bösch
© Robert Bösch
© Thomas Madlener
The Trift glacier in proximity to the Swiss Susten pass is one of the most quickly melting glaciers in the Alps. Ladders as well as a path along the glacier provided access to the Trift lodge. In the meantime, however, a lake formed at this location. Since a detour would have been significantly longer and more difficult, the decision was made to cross the gorge at its narrowest with a suspension bridge. After five months of planning and construction, the first Trift bridge was opened in September 2004. Despite the simple and cost efficient construction mode, e.g. with recycled steel cables, the bridge was designed for long service. However, the planners had underestimated two factors. For one, the structure attracted far more visitors than originally expected. Beyond that, the bridge had been designed for wind speeds up to 120 km/h in relation to data from a nearby measurement station. However, the observation was made that gusts of wind in the narrow gorge reached wind speeds up to 200 km/h and resulting turbulences caused torsion within the construction. The decision was made to build a new bridge at a safe location, offset by 20 m and 30 m higher, with a simpler access path and also lower wind speeds due to the greater gorge width in this area.