Viaduc de Millau, Millau, Midi-Pyrenees, France
The Millau Viaduct was built out of necessity: it opens up the southern Massif Central by creating a direct motorway between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers. How? By building an aqueduct to cross a gap 2460 m long and thus span the Tarn valley in Aveyron. A technical challenge that required 13 years of study and … 3 years of construction.
At its commissioning in 2004, the Millau Viaduct became the highest motorway bridge in the world… Its deck, which rises 270 meters above the Tarn (Aveyron), is the longest cable-stayed bridge (2460 meters) with the highest stack rising 145 m high. This titanic structure was constructed with clean high-tech technologies in the world of public works: the structure is made out of self-climbing formwork, high performance concrete and innovative materials, making this unique structure (designed by British architect Norman Foster and French engineer Michel Virlojeux) so successful.
The bridge, made out of steel and concrete, gives the viaduct a strong fine structure with only 7 points along the construction supporting it and 1,500 tonnes of live wire covering the surface of the bridge.
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