The Aqueduct in Håverud

The Aqueduct in Håverud draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. But just what is it that makes this industrial heritage site so fascinating?

A unique meeting of roads, rail and waterways

The Dalsland Canal was completed between 1864 and 1868. Construction was overseen by the renowned canal builder Nils Ericson.
Due to the soil conditions in Håverud, it was not feasible to build a normal lock system at the site. The rock was too loose, the current too strong and the slope too steep. So Nils Ericson came up with the brilliant idea of building an aqueduct instead. Werner Ericson, his son, was appointed foreman.

The aqueduct consists of a freely suspended bridge, where the water is channelled through a 33.5-metre long sheet metal chute above the river. The sheet metal panels are joined together by 33,000 rivets. So far, none of these have been replaced.

The aqueduct was produced by the renowned firm Bergsunds Mekaniska Verkstad in Stockholm. The plates where put together on land, with the heavy chute hauled into place above the river.

There are many aqueducts around the world. The majority took the form of Roman stone arch bridges, while others combined stone arch bridges with cast iron channel superstructures. The Aqueduct in Håverud truly is one of a kind.

The aqueduct was manufactured by the renowned firm Bergsunds Mekaniska Verkstad in Stockholm. The sheets where put together on land, with the heavy chute hauled into place above the river.

 

The history of the aqueduct

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Said about the Aqueduct

“Between two vast, forest-covered rocks, where the light hues of the deciduous trees merge with the veiled lushness of the conifers, a foaming river spews from great height above Lake Åklången, through a narrow passage down to the covering in Upperud. The clear morning sun spreads its golden glow across the frothy matt silver of the waters, while the din of the wrought ironsmiths breaks through the roar of the waves. To the left of the fall, high above the lock gates at Håfverud, a gigantic reddish brown creation appears, which crosses from one side of the roaring waters from one bank to the other in all its splendour. This immense, water-filled iron box is the famous aqueduct, the only one in Scandinavia, one of the many monuments to Nils Ericson’s incredible genius.”

From: Svea Folk Calendar, 1870, page 103–104

 

All about Nils Ericson

Baron and engineer. 3972. Born on 31 January 1802 in Långban, Färnebo (S). Died on 8 September 1870 in Stockholm. Baron, engineer, civil engineer. Oversaw construction of several important canal routes from 1830 to 1850 (Stallbacka, Säffle, Karlstad and Albrektsund). Rebuilt the Trollhätte Canal and Stockholm Canal lock. Built the Dalsland Canal and the Håverud Aqueduct, together with his son, Werner. Head of national railway construction. Ennobled in 1854, made a baron in 1860. Buried in the Northern Cemetery in Stockholm. See the Dictionary of Swedish National Biography.

 

Drawings