The Gottéron Bridge

Scaling giddy heights.

Like the pont de Zähringen, there was once a suspension bridge where the pont du Gottéron now stands. However, the bridge as it stands today was a long time in the making. As far back as 1905, the powers that be in Fribourg had begun toying with the idea of building a metal railway bridge to carry trains travelling to and from the Singine district. Despite the fact that a lorry crashed through the bridge in 1919, it took 40 years before work began on the concrete twin arch bridge, finally opening in 1960. In the meantime, though, travellers heading for Upper Singine and Marly were able to take an alternative route thanks to the pont de Pérolles, which had opened in 1922.

In the 19th century, suspension bridges were also an economical solution, as stone bridges cost twice as much to build. In Fribourg, the French-born engineer and developer behind the pont de Gottéron paid for its construction. He introduced toll fees to recoup his costs.

The pont du Gottéron is a smaller version of the pont de Zähringen. When it opened in 1840, it provided an easier route to up-country Fribourg. Standing at a dizzyingly 76 metres above the ground, its construction heralded a new era of tall bridges.

On 9 May 1919, a lorry carrying 10 tons of timber, four tons over the legal limit, crashed through the pont du Gottéron, crashing into the valley below and killing the driver. The cracking sound was heard right across the city and the accident was the death knoll for suspension bridges in Fribourg.
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