Grand Pont Suspendu 1834

Grand Pont Suspendu 1834

© Pechristener, Wikimedia Commons

The Bridge

The Grand Pont Suspendu, at Fribourg in Switzerland, was built in 1834 and removed in 1923. It is fitting that this bridge is included in a collection of the world’s greatest suspension bridges because Joseph Chaley’s design is historically important in setting a new standard. He was inspired by French engineer Louis Vicat to develop the use of main suspension cables. At Fribourg the four main cables were made up of over 1,000 individual wires and ‘spun’ on site. This enabled the construction of long cables at less cost than previous methods and achieved a world record clear span of 273m.

This method has become known as aerial spinning. John A Roebling developed it further for use on the Brooklyn Bridge, and Bill Brown consulted on projects throughout the world with his cable erection refinements cutting construction time and saving project costs.

Grand Pont Suspendu

Historically-important span in Fribourg

Key Facts

Opened in 1834 and removed in 1923

Joseph Chaley’s design pioneered the use of individual wires ‘spun’ on site to form the main suspension cables


Fribourg, Switzerland

Crossed the Sarine River until 1923

Designers / Engineers

Joseph Chaley


Suspension bridge

273m main span


To develop the four main cables each from 1,056 individual iron wires


Began in 1832

Opened in 1834

Removed in 1923

Other long-span bridges