The Floating Bridges
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Two of Sweden’s last floating bridges are in the beautiful villages of Österfors and Gagnefs Kyrkby. The bridge in Österfors is for pedestrians only while the bridge in Kyrkbyn allows car traffic.
A floating bridge rises and falls with the water level. In the past this was a common way to build bridges across Dalälven. The municipality of Gagnef is crossed by two rivers, Österdalälven and Västerdalälven, and it has influenced the district in a special way. The water provided opportunities for fishing and transportation and all the larger villages in the municipality is located along rivers. As the years went by people started to be more dependent on transporting their animals, goods and themselves across the rivers. The first real transportation across the rivers were ferries that were rowed and pulled with ropes across the rivers. during the 1600's many ferries were replaced by floating brigdes. It is said to have been 11 floating bridges across Dalälven, now there are only these two left in Gagnef and Österfors.