World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Switzerland

GENEVA — Spanning 1,621 feet and rising as high as 279 feet, the newly opened Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland has broken the record for the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, according to Zermatt Tourism.

The bridge offers hikers views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and Bernese Alps.

“How often do you get the chance to cross a real world record suspension bridge?” said Daniel Luggen, director of Zermatt Tourism, at the bridge’s inauguration on Saturday. “The thrill experienced high over the precipice is indescribable.”

The bridge, which has replaced an older bridge that was damaged by falling rocks, was named after its chief sponsor, a psychologist and co-owner of a Swiss winery.

It spans the valley between Zermatt and Grachen. According to Edith Zweifel, a spokeswoman for the travel board, it cuts the journey across the valley from three to four hours to 10 minutes.

The total journey time between Zermatt and Grachen is about two days.

While the bridge’s height has removed the risk of rock fall, more height-averse hikers might want to plan ahead before making the trek.

“People who have problems with a fear of heights, they have to close their eyes or have someone to walk just behind,” Zweifel said.