In 2014, BVZ Holding, which unites, among others, the Gornergrat Railway and the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, launched a competition for the new construction of the Getwing Bridge in Zermatt. After 120 years of use of the old steel truss bridge, the Wing steel bridge was inaugurated on 9 November 2017.
The old Getwing Bridge had been in service since 1898. Located in the village centre, many trains with hundreds of thousands of passengers had crossed the bridge every day to reach the Gornergrat for over one hundred years. But after 120 years, the structure had more than done its duty and was replaced.
Twenty-nine proposals from all over Europe were submitted to the competition for the design of the new Getwing bridge over the Vispa in Zermatt.
“After three anonymous assessments, the “Wing” team, consisting of the Brig-based engineering firm SRP Schneller, Ritz und Partner, the Stuttgart-based firm Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, and Mooser, Lauber, Stucky Architekten from Zermatt, was chosen as the winner,” wrote the Walliser Bote (Valais Herald) in its issue of 9 November 2017.
A CHF 2 million project
The new steel bridge was completed in 2017. It is 4.47 metres wide, 25.5 metres long and weighs around 55 tonnes. Thanks to its slender design and larger clearance profile underneath the bridge, the “wing” blends in perfectly with the townscape and the view of the Matterhorn. The new structure also reduces noise emissions. The total project costs amounted to around CHF 2 million.
“It’s not a large bridge, but an important element on the Gornergrat Railway line,” said Egon Gsponer, Head of Infrastructure and Deputy Managing Director of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, to the Walliser Bote (Valais Herald) in an interview in 2017. It may not be the new landmark of Zermatt, but certainly of the Gornergrat Railway.