Millau Viaduct

motorway bridge in France

The Millau Viaduct is a large bridge in Millau, France in the Département of Aveyron. It was designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Sir Norman Foster. As of September 2020, it is the tallest bridge in the world, at 336.4 metres (1,104 ft) tall.[5]

Millau Viaduct

Viaduc de Millau  (French)
Millau Viaduct under construction
Coordinates44°04′46″N 03°01′20″E / 44.07944°N 3.02222°E / 44.07944; 3.02222Coordinates: 44°04′46″N 03°01′20″E / 44.07944°N 3.02222°E / 44.07944; 3.02222
Carries4 lanes of the A75 autoroute
CrossesGorge valley of the river Tarn
LocaleMillau-Creissels, Aveyron, France
Official nameViaduc de Millau
Maintained byCompagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau[1]
DesignMultiple-span cable-stayed viaduct motorway bridge[1]
MaterialConcrete, steel
Total length2,460 m (8,070 ft)[1]
Width32.05 m (105.2 ft)[1]
Height336.4 m (1,104 ft) (max pylon above ground)[1][2]
Longest span342 m (1,122 ft)[1]
No. of spans204 m (669 ft),
6×342 m (1,122 ft),
204 m (669 ft)[1]
Clearance below270 m (890 ft)[1][3]
Design life120 years
DesignerDr Michel Virlogeux, structural engineer[1]
Constructed byCompagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau[1][2][3][4]
Construction start16 October 2001; 21 years ago (2001-10-16)[1]
Construction cost 394,000,000[2]
Opened16 December 2004, at 09:00 hrs[1]
Inaugurated14 December 2004; 18 years ago (2004-12-14)[1]
Tollfrom  8.30

Before the bridge was built, people had to use the national route N9 near the town of Millau. This meant that there was a lot of traffic in July and August.[6] The bridge now crosses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking the Causse du Larzac to the Causse Rouge, and is inside the Grands Causses regional natural park.

The bridge forms the last link of the A75 autoroute, (la Méridienne) from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers. The A75, with the A10 and A71, provides a continuous quick route south from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand, Béziers and Spain. Many tourists going to southern France and Spain use this route because it is direct and has no tolls for the 340 km between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers, except on the bridge.

The Millau Viaduct and the Town of Millau on the right.

References Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Millau Viaduct at Structurae. Retrieved 12 September 2018.  
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "France shows off tallest bridge". BBC News Online. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "France 'completes' tallest bridge". BBC News. 29 May 2004. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  4. Chris Bockman (4 November 2003). "France builds world's tallest bridge". BBC News Online. Millau. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  5. "Millau Viaduct (Millau/Creissels, 2004)". Structurae. Retrieved 2023-01-09.
  6. "BBC News | In Pictures". Retrieved 2023-01-09.