Construction of the Millau Bridge in France

"The Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains is more than 300m (984ft) high - taller even than the Eiffel Tower. With its concrete and steel pillars soaring high above the morning fog in the Tarn Valley, the construction makes a spectacular sight." (source)

(original unknown)

Construction began in October 2001 and was intended to take three years, but dragged even longer because of weather conditions. The bridge was built by Eiffage, the same company that built the Eiffel Tower.

Towers rise from the clouds:

A complicated system of hydraulic rams was used to slide the vast bridge deck into place. It was provided by Enerpac Hydraulic Systems - the company which also "lifted" Golden Gate Bridge off its foundation for better cushioning against earthquakes. Here is a diagram of pushing the bridge's deck:

"The deck was pushed in two sections from both sides of the valley. Each push cycle lasted 4 minutes and moved the deck section 600mm a time."

Enduring materials and unique cable design:

From both sides of the valley the metal sections of the bridge are assembled, lifted slightly and then in an elaborate manoeuvre pushed into place on each of the seven supporting pillars. The architect, Norman Foster, said the bridge was designed to have the "delicacy of a butterfly"

Sources and further reading: Wiki, BBC, 3, 4

Also Read:
World's Most Interesting Bridges, Part 1"
World's Most Interesting Bridges, Part 2

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Category: Technology,Architecture


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Blogger Gary Green said...

Absolutely amazing! I love bridge constrution. Thanks so much for these pics!

Blogger wretcheddawn said...

Wow. The world's most pointless bridge. Somebody obviously never heard a ramp.

Blogger Scooter said...

One word, freaking awesome! Alright, so that was two words. :P

Blogger alan2001 said...

i've gone over this bridge twice on my motorbike, on holiday this year. it's an amazing sight from afar and the views down either side are pretty scary. it was one of the highlights of our euro tour. :-D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been to Paris twice,1st time 2-1991 during the Gulf War and the 2nd 9 weeks after 9-11(to bad Sadam or Ben Laden could not be at Euro Disney on ThanksGiving Day). The people in Paris were great and I cant wait to see/travel on the Bridge (where's the confounded bridge?: Led Zepplin.
What a beautiful design and most functional + the fact of Britain & France making transportation solutions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my.I never thought that bridges can be built above clouds.Great engineering & nice info too.

Blogger CaladoHelena said...

What amazing photos ! I think it is quite scary to drive in that bridge, but for sure a wonderful construction work.

Blogger MatildeCalvinIndia said...

really nice to see all these wonders///// hope some boby beat this record//// i think one more earth will arise

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What amazing bridge ! Is it dangerous to drive there?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've passed that bridge a few times, and it is an amazing sight. The sad part of the story concerns the town of Millau though. Before the bridge was built, you had to leave the highway and cross Millau. it was a very popular rest-stop for families, with great restaurants and nice afternoon activities. I went through the town last November, and it is now almost a ghost town. The business activity ahas dropped drasticaly, and the inhabitants have moved away. it was such a nice town, too...

Blogger karthik said...

Amazing! Proud to be an civil engineer................

Blogger Unknown said...

This blog post is really great; the standard stuff of the post is genuinely amazing.

Blogger thea said...

The Millau Bridge is an engineering marvel! Its towering concrete and steel pillars remind me of the incredible heights construction can achieve. As someone who's always looking for house construction inspiration in the Philippines, I can't help but admire the precision and creativity involved in building such a structure. The bridge's ability to blend strength with elegance is truly inspiring.


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