highline179 Construction & Commissioning

The construction of the highline179 can already be described as spectacular, as the workers involved had to have a head for heights and be courageous in order to complete this project. The plan was to carry out the construction with minimal interference with nature.

The finished structure was to be slim and narrow in order to blend in perfectly with the surrounding natural scenery. The task for the designers was also to build the highline179 in such a way that even one person could make it swing when stepping on it, but this swing would not be lost even with the maximum number of people allowed on the bridge.

Exactly these qualities are reflected in the name Tibet style: cantilever, light and swinging.

  • On May 7, 2014, with cool temperatures and rain, the time had come: construction work was officially started with the groundbreaking ceremony. Trees had to be felled, the underlying humus was removed, and soon rock was encountered.
  • The foundation was built. Then the anchoring of the bridge began. Four concrete anchor blocks per side, for a total of eight, were erected.
  • The concrete work on the Fort Claudia side could be carried out as usual with a mixing truck and pump; the opposite side could only be reached by helicopter. Empty pipes ran through the anchor blocks to guide the subsequently used drilled anchors.
  • These anchors were then connected to the underlying rock by means of cement slurry. Thus, the anchoring was completed.
  • Galvanized steel supports were then erected. The supports were so huge that they did not fit into the existing zinc baths. They had to be split in the middle and then galvanized. Only on site were they then reassembled: an incredible 950 bolts were needed for this.
  • So far, so good. The next challenge was not long in coming: the connection of the two abutments Ehrenberg and Fort Claudia. To accomplish this, a silk was flown by drone from Fort Claudia in the direction of the Ehrenberg ruin. When this was successful, thicker and thicker hemp ropes were pulled across the valley on this Silk until finally the suspension ropes could be attached. The 60 mm suspension ropes are so strong that one of them could hold a Boeing 747.
  • After that, the bridge assembly could be started. The individual elements were inserted one after the other from the Fort Claudia side in the direction of Ehrenberg until the two sides of the valley were finally connected. It was a very emotional moment for all those involved in the construction, as the dream came true and what seemed almost impossible suddenly became reality.
  • As a safety measure, the B179 highway running under the highline179 was enclosed in the potentially endangered area during the entire construction period so that traffic could flow undisturbed.

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