The Aqueduct and the Dalsland Canal
The Dalsland Canal
Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination!
You may have noticed that there are fewer and fewer undiscovered, exciting, untouched holiday destinations out there. Especially places that interest the entire family.
But there is still one such place in Dalsland-Nordmarken – the lakes capital of Sweden. One of Europe's most beautiful waterways, the Dalsland Canal, turns a whole labyrinth of lakes great and small, rivers and idyllic, meandering canal passages, into a boater's dream like none other. Only 10 km of the entire canal is man-made; the rest is a 244-km navigable lake system.
- The unique meeting between road, railway and waterway -
The aqueduct is considered one of the greatest technical innovations of its day.
The Dalsland Canal was completed in 1864–1868, in a project headed by a famous canal builder, Nils Ericson. A typical lock could not be built in Håverud because of local ground conditions. The rock was loose, the current strong and the slopes too steep. Ericson came up with the ingenious idea of building an aqueduct instead. His son, Werner Ericson, became the site manager.
The aqueduct was manufactured by the famous company Bergsunds Mekaniska Verkstad in Stockholm. The metal sections were put together on land, and then the heavy channel was dragged into position over the rapids.
The aqueduct is a free hanging bridge, where the water is led in a 32.5-metre long metal channel above the rapids. The metal sections are joined with 33,000 rivets. And not one of them has needed replacing yet.
When the Dalsland Canal was built, Håverud was the biggest obstacle to an unbroken waterway. There was a ravine here, surrounded by high, rocky shores. The narrow valley with its precipitous walls formed a sort of gateway through which the river crashed down nearly nine metres into the Upperudshöljen
Placing a canal here, in a river squeezed between the high cliff walls, was naturally fraught with expenses and technical difficulties. Major Liliehöök had recommended a railway overland instead of a canal.
There was really only one satisfactory solution to the problem: to create a sailing channel past the Håverud waterfall – by somehow leading the canal over the fall itself. Colonel Nils Ericson proposed a sheet-iron aqueduct.