The Millau Viaduct is a huge cable stayed road bridge located in Millau in Southern France. This bridge spans the River Tarn and is considered to be the tallest vehicular bridge in the world today. The Millau Viaduct provides a route that connects Paris to the Languedoc region and to Spain.
Millau Viaduct Features
The Millau Viaduct is a bridge that consists of eight span steel roadway supported by seven tall concrete pylons. The roadway itself weighs 36,000 tons and stretches 2,460 meters or 8,100 feet long. This makes it the longest cable stayed deck in the world. The six central spans measure 342 meters or 1.120 feet wide. The two outer spans measure 204 meters or 670 feet. The roadway gently slopes by three percent from south to north in order to give drivers better visibility of the road.
What makes the Millau Viaduct so imposing is its height. The roadway is supported by tall and huge pylons that range in height from a low of 77 meters or 250 feet to as high as 246 meters or 810 feet. With the masts for the cable stays of the bridge included, the Millau Viaduct stands slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower and just falls a bit short of the height of the Empire State Building.
Millau Viaduct Construction
The Millau Viaduct was designed by structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and noted British architect Norman Foster. Work on the Viaduct began on October 16, 2000. Construction for the whole structure was done by December of 2004. It was inaugurated on December 14, 2004 and opened to the motoring public two days after. The project was finished ahead of schedule by almost a month. Construction of the Millau Viaduct reached up to 394 million Euros.