BRIDGING TWO CULTURES
Although its construction was preceded by lengthy and heated debates, the pont de la Poya (Poya Bridge) has by and large won over the local population. After all, the people of Fribourg have a longstanding love affair with bridges! Opened in October 2014, this cable-stayed bridge perpetuates the city’s tradition of suspension bridges. With a span of 851.6 metres, the bridge above the Sarine has three traffic lanes: one for motorists, the second for pedestrians, and the third for cyclists. As well as diverting traffic away from Fribourg’s historic centre, the bridge makes it easier to get to and from the French- and German-speaking parts of the canton. As such, it upholds the grand Fribourg tradition of bridging the divide between two regions and two cultures.
Unlike other suspension bridges which are supported by two central cables embedded in the river bank, the cable-stayed pont de la Poya is held in place by a long series of inclined cables extending out from a pylon supporting the bridge deck.
Since the pont de la Poya was built, traffic congestion around Fribourg Cathedral has fallen dramatically (before a daily traffic volume of approximately of 25,000 cars). The Cathedral, a fine example of Gothic architecture, was built between 1283 and 1490.
The Poya Bridge in facts and figures:
Bridge Length: 851.6 m
Total width of the deck: 19.25 m
Average height of the deck (above the Saanen valley): 70 m
Central span of the structure: 196 m
Span of the side rope strained fields: 86 m
Height of the two pylons anchored in the ground (70 m between Sarine and roadway / 40 m above the road surface): 110 m
Height of security barrier: 2.50 m
Covered section: 160 m