highline179 - Idea and history
Today it is hard to imagine that 20 years ago in the area of Ehrenberg Castle Ruins, only a couple of overgrown wall remnants could be found. The driving force behind the successful restoration story of the venerable ruins is local architect Armin Walch, also managing director of Ehrenberg Castle Ruins. It was precisely him who as far back as in 1998/1999, in the middle of the preservation work on Schlosskopf Fortress, had the idea to link the Ehrenberg Castle ruins with Fort Claudia on the opposite side straight across the valley with a bridge.
Having previously travelled to Nepal, he had a cable suspension bridge in Tibetan style in mind already back then. The path from vision to implementation was a tough one, which could only be tread thanks to the tireless commitment of the persons involved. Armin Walch studied the suspension footbridge in Holzgau in detail and in discussions with bridge builders worked out the technical feasibility of such a bridge on Ehrenberg.
In the year 2003, Walch presented his vision to the public for the first time and attracted great interest. Lots of schedule work, enquiries and discussions with partners from the region followed, and in 2012 Armin Walch and Martin Kathrein from the company Strabag formed a project team to make the vision of "Longest suspension footbridge in the world" become a reality on Ehrenberg. Kathrein started looking for investors and struck it rich: a private investor from the region liked the idea and took the risk to finance the construction of the suspension footbridge out of his own pocket.
The Strabag company completed construction in around six months and finally in November 2014, the highline179, the longest suspension footbridge in Tibet-style, could be opened. It kept the title until 2017.