Millau Bridge- The World Famous Bridge in FrancePosted by Continental Tour Guide in Europe | 0 comments
The Millau Bridge is in southern France and crosses the Tarn River in the Massif Central mountains. It is part of the A75 Motorway. The structure is a cable-stayed bridge.
The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau Bridge in southern France. Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast’s summit at 343.0 meters above the base of the structure. It is also the 12th highest bridge in the world, with a 270 meters drop from the Millau bridge road to the valley below. The 2460 meters long bridge is a stunning architectural and design feat. And it is beautiful to look at as well.
The Millau bridge was opened in 2004 to close the “missing link” on the A75 autoroute that connects Paris in the north to Perpignan in the south the Millau Viaduct was the result of 17 years of ideas, proposals, and design that resulted in shaving 37 miles off the former route through the region. But rather than choose a mundane design that simply did the job, the French went big.
History of Millau Bridge
Millau Viaduct is cable-stayed bridge in France over a valley of the River Tarn near Millau Bridge. It is the tallest bridge in the world with one of its masts as tall as 343 meters. Its designers are the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster.Every year, traffic that passes from Paris to Spain near the town of Millau becomes jammed with cars that drive people to and from their holidays. First ideas for solving the problem were discussed in 1987 and in 1991, it was decided for a Millau bridge to be built over a valley of Tarn river. From 1993 to 2001, government of France held consultations with architects and engineers, made definition studies and held design competitions until they found appropriate design and the building began. In 1996 Sogelerg consortium proposed cable stayed-bridge that was designed by Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster. That design was approved for realization. Construction began on 16th of October 2001. First piers were started in January 2002 and finished in November 2003. Roadways were finished on May 2004, pylons and shrouds in the second half of the 2004 and the viaduct was opened on 16 December 2004 – 25 days ahead of schedule. President Jacques Chirac opened the bridge during the opening ceremony.
Location of Millau Bridge
Millau Viaduct is located in Millau, Languedoc – the Millau bridge was built to relieve heavy congestion on the roads during the summer holiday season it is the last section of the A75 motorway that leads to the Mediterranean coastal resorts. The Millau bridge falls inside the Grands Causses regional natural park.
Local Tourist Attractions
Museum of Millau and the Grands Causses
Vases of all periods from the Gallo-Roman potters’ village, and the Museum of Leather and Gloves presenting the town’s two traditional industries leatherworking and glove-making (audio-visual montage, tools and pairs of magnificent evening gloves). The museum also has a paleontology section (with the skeleton of the Tournemire
Viaduc Espace Info, Millau
Beneath Millau Viaduct, this visitor centre exhibits a model of the Millau bridge and shows a film (10min) that guides visitors through the different stages of its construction. The Explorers’ Garden is an outdoor exhibition, where you can see a reconstruction of the base of pile P2. The side shifter machinery that enabled the deck of the bridge to be placed, operates before your very eyes.
Tour des Rois d’Aragon (Beffroi de Millau)
The belfry is all that remains of the former town hall. The square tower was once used as a prison. Nowadays, you can go up to the top and enjoy the fine panoramic view.
Place du Mar.-Foch
The inscription on one of the cylindrical columns supporting the covered part of the arches which give character to this square. Note the rectangular stone, the remains of the old pillory.
Visiting of Millau Bridge
In addition to being a major improvement to the road system in the region, the Millau bridge has also received critical acclaim and become an immediate tourist attraction in its own right.There are a number of options available for a visit to the bridge. Crossing it is of course an option, but not worth doing unless your journey warrants it. You don’t get much of a view because of the barriers and you are not allowed to stop on the Millau bridge.You can have an easy ride by parking in the town centre and taking the tourist bus from the Tourist Information Office. This will enable you to get the best possible views, photo opportunities and of course a running commentary on the construction from infancy to completion.You can also visit the official information site underneath the bridge where there is a little museum with photographs of the build, a film to show the progression of the site and various souvenirs to buy.