This spring the project to improve the famous Kirchbrücke viewpoint of the Matterhorn in Zermatt will continue.
New viewing platform
Once completed visitors will be able to use a new viewing platform – wider than the existing viewpoint – as well as new passenger elevator.
Kirchbrücke is well known as the perfect location to take a photo of the iconic Matterhorn mountain and is popular with tourists every day.
However, it is also an important transit point in the resort and the combination of traffic and pedestrians can sometimes lead to dangerous situations.
Safety is fundamental
Although there have been no accidents, there has been an increasing number of ‘near-misses’ reported between vehicles and pedestrians in the Kirchbrücke area.
Tourists looking for the perfect Instagram or Facebook selfie of themselves with the Matterhorn in the background often forget that they are standing at a busy traffic point.
And as all vehicles in Zermatt are electric it means they move relatively quietly. Tourists focused on taking photos do not always notice them, particularly with the additional noise from the water flowing in the river.
Pedestrians currently access Schluhmattstrasse from the Uferweg via a steel staircase. This staircase is dated and is going to be replaced.
To make sure locals and guests from the ‘Steinmatte’ district have a more comfortable and simple connection to the ‘Green Line’ bus service, the existing steel staircase will be replaced by an elevator. It will be designed so that even pushchairs and bicycles can be transported on it.
You can see from the plan below how the new design integrates the bridge with Schluhmattstrasse opposite the Hotel Bristol. Included is a taxi rank, as well as the bus stop and improved viewing platform.
Construction in the spring
Permissions for the project have been going through the various stages of application. It has been complicated by the limited space available to do the work, the steepness of the terrain, limited access beside the river.
The work should be completed by autumn 2019.