Millau Bridge [officially Millau Viaduct] is a road-bridge spanning the valley from the River Tarn near Millau in southern France.
Millau Bridge is the Guinness record holder tallest bridge in the world. This bridge is 343 meter high, 2460 meter long and is supported by only even pillars while the bridge touch the Tarn valley spread below all over the place at only nine points.
This bridge is conceived by a French engineer Michel Virlogeux and is designed by English architect Lord Norman Foster. This bridge is a perfect blend of natural landscape as well as manmade wonder. The roadway made up of slightly curved steel and supported by the strays gives it the appearance of huge yacht.
The bridge is a marvel of construction as innovative methods of construction were used along with its design conceived to its finest details. The route of the bridge, which is chosen by the engineers of the French Technical department of the works and Transportation, is the most economical and ecological. Tremendous precision was used while building the two separate structure and then connecting them together in the middle of the span overhanging the Tarn.
Millau Bridge crosses Tarn valley, which is few hundred yards from a very beautiful village of France, Peyre. This village is also an outdoor sports capital of France apart from being the gateway to the gorges Tarn. On the north of the bridge there is Lévézou and to the south it is Causse du Larzac.
Millau has a population of slightly more than 22,000 people, and has recently recruited two extra staff at the Tourist Office to help with queries about their new landmark. Millau used to be the centre of leather manufacture in France. Millau continues to be a shopping centre for leather goods, including gloves. You can, for instance, visit the l’Atelier gantier, 21 rue Droite and buy a pair of locally designed, hand-made and hand-sewn ladies’ leather or suede gloves for about 45 euro and upwards, in one of umpteen colours. Some of the designs are ultra-chic and even extraordinary.
As well as sections on gallo-roman history and geology, the Millau Museum has a section on leather-making and the craft of glove-making. The link above gives their address and information on opening times and guided visits.
A75 motorway is the most enormous and huge link created by the Millau bridge, La Méridienne. It links Clermont-Ferrand with Béziers and Narbonne, which is the least congested and cheapest route between Paris and the Mediterranea.
This is cheaper than the alternative of tunneling through the hills bordering the river, and will shorten the journey by 100 km and by up to 4 hours in the holiday season, as well as removing much traffic pollution caused by continual traffic jams for local inhabitants in Millau.
The Millau Bridge is currently the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. It has a steel deck, rather than the more usual concrete roadbed.
The viewing point is specially designed for the great view of the magnificent Millau Bridge, The aveyron, its cultural and natural heritage. This is also the tourist information Centre where you can receive the information about France tourist sightseeing locations and spots. There are also eateries where you can taste the famous “capuchins” and other local flavors.
- By taking the A75 motorway exit n° 45 “aire du Viaduc”
- Via the D911 and follow “aire du Viaduc”
You can discover the bridge differently by passing in canoe or getting close to it while walking or you can also view it from the air while hang gliding over it. There are all options available here for you to discover the magnificent bridge.
The Office de Tourisme in Millau also offers visits in an open top bus.
The “Viaduc Espace Info” at the foot of the Bridge offers the info area as well as the “jardin des explorateurs” (explorer’s garden), a fun open air exhibition where you will learn everything about the bridge and its construction and that will enable you to enter the bridge’s P2 pillar, the tallest in the world.
This new bridge, opened on the 14th December 2004, replaces the bridge crossing the River Tarn in the centre of the town of Millau. Near the bridge is a permanent visitors’centre with stunning views of the bridge and across the valley which it spans.