Motorway viaduct in Swiss canton to become a climbing wall in 2023

Motorway viaduct in Swiss canton to become a climbing wall in 2023

Bern’s Felsenau viaduct is not currently known as a top leisure spot in the city, but next year that’s set to change. From 2023, keen climbers will be able to scale the 45-metre-high structure thanks to a new climbing wall, set to be placed on one of the bridge’s pillars.

Viaduct in Bern provides great alternative to climbing gyms

The project’s backers, the Swiss Alpine Club's chapter in Bern (SAC), hailed the idea as an alternative to building new climbing and bouldering gyms, while still providing people in Bern with the opportunity to do some exercise. “Numerous climbing routes are going to be created on the insides of two 45-metre-high bridge pillars in the Engehalde. For this purpose, climbing holds will be mounted in the concrete wall," SAC project manager Sophie Bigler told the Regional Journal Bern Freiburg Valais.

The head of the Bern Sports Office, Christian Bigler, praised the project as “creative” and said that the wall will be completed by the summer of 2023. "The climbing wall on the Felsenau viaduct is a creative solution to create a new range of exercise - without anyone being displaced. Because nothing else happens on the bridge pillar,” he told Swiss broadcaster SRF

Climbing wall project to cost 300.000 Swiss francs

The project is set to cost 300.000 Swiss francs, which will be funded mostly by the Swiss Alpine Club. The government is likely to issue the building permit to undertake the work on the viaduct sometime this winter. Construction is scheduled to start on the project in April 2023. 

The construction and opening of the climbing wall are set to coincide with the 2023 Sport Climbing World Championships that will be taking place in Bern in August. The championships will host professional climbers from across the world to compete in lead, speed, bouldering, and boulder and lead combined events, as well as a para-climbing event.



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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