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Travel Europe France Crossing above the clouds - Millau Bridge

Crossing above the clouds - Millau Bridge

Millau, France, Millau Bridge panoramic view

The Viaduc de Millau (Millau Bridge) is a mega project in southern France. The bridge has the highest pillar, the highest pylon and the deck top car in the world. Only the deck of the Royal Gorge Bridge in the United States is higher, but that bridge is not a transport connection. The Millau viaduct was built to solve the traffic problems around the town of Millau.

In 1987 the first plans for a draft came out of the A75 motorway from Clermont-Ferrand to Beziers. In 1989 there were four specific options on the table. Because three of the four plans had significant drawbacks - or too long, technically difficult and inadequate access to the town of Millau - was ultimately the fourth solution. This solution did like to build a huge bridge over the valley of the Tarn. Then there was a choice between a high (2500 meters long and over 200 meters high bridge) or low (with bridge and tunnel) construction. In 1993 was chosen for the high variant, which is shorter, cheaper and safer pale.

The solution to build the bridge came from Michel Virlogeux which conceived the construction, and Norman Foster , who designed the bridge. The French firm Eiffage was commissioned to build the bridge and on December 14, 2001 the first stone was laid. On October 20, 2003, the highest pillar of the bridge 245 meters from the ancient world and was the highest pillar (181 meters) broken. Eventually, after three years of hard work, the bridge was solemnly inaugurated on December 14, 2004 by French President Chirac and two days later, it was opened to traffic.

The suspension bridge has eight spans, each 342 meters long, except that the outer 204 meters long. This metal surface is supported by seven pillars, weighs 36,000 tons and is 32 meters wide and 2460 meters long. The road has a slope of 3% and has a total of six lanes. The pillars vary from 77 to 246 meters in height. Each pillar has four foundations of fifteen meters deep and five meters in diameter. The pylons are each 97 meters high and are supported by pillars. The top of the tallest pylon is 343 meters above the ground. 85,000 m3 of concrete was used for the construction cost 400 million euro and 120 years to go.