Listed as Great Site of Midi-Pyrenees
Visitor's Rating: (3 out of 4/Number of Votes:1)
The Milllau Viaduct holds the record for the world tallest bridge with its highest pillar towering 343 meters above the Tarn River valley.
The masterpiece that the bridge is, is product of the collaboration between the French engineer Michel Vilrogeux (also designer of Ré Island Bridge, Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge in Bordeaux etc.) and the British architect Norman Foster (designer of the London City Hall, Stansted Airport etc.).
It was built in exactly 3 years between December 12, 2001 the day of the laying of the first stone and December 14, 2004 when the inauguration took place (it is planned to operate for 75 years).
The bridge deck spans a total distance of 2,460 meters and is held at the deepest point of the valley, at 270m above the Tarn River.
The viaduct is supported by only 7 pylons - with a span between two pylons of 342 meters - that each holds 11 pairs of steel wires - it having been a requirement at the design time that the bridge's Tarn valley footprint to be minimal.
The design of the viaduct is also original because it has a 3% slope in the north to south direction to increase the drivers visibility and a slightly curving trajectory. The curved trajectory was considered a necessity because a straight road could induce a sensation of floating for drivers.
The construction of the Millau viaduct allows the highway A75 (aka "La Méridienne") to be the shortest and efficient route between Paris and the Languedoc Mediterranean coast (and further to Barcelona).
A panoramic view point of the viaduct is set up on its north side next to the highway rest area.
The Viaduct of Millau together with the Templars towns and the Roquefort Cheese factories of Roquefort sur Soulzon are the not to be missed tourist attractions of the south of Averyron department.
The bridge is nice , quite impresive to see.
The cafeteria was however a dissappointment. Not too many menu choices and quite expensive!!!!