highest bridge (viaduct) in the world"
world's highest road bridge has been inaugurated in southern France by
President Jacques Chirac. The bridge opened on the 14th December 2004.
Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains is
more than 300m (984ft) high, taller even than the Eiffel
Tower. The bridge was built to clear
summer traffic jams around the town.
Wyatt, says the bridge is one of the most breathtaking ever built. She says that with its concrete and steel pillars soaring high above the
morning fog in the Tarn Valley, the construction makes a spectacular
of a butterfly'", "The bridge is just on the clouds."
Foster said the bridge was designed to have the "delicacy of a
of man must fuse with nature. The pillars had to look almost organic,
like they had grown from the earth," the world renowned British
architect said in an interview with regional daily newspaper Midi Libre.
Concorde and the Channel Tunnel, the bridge is Franco-British
construction group Eiffage - that built the Eiffel Tower - financed the
project in return for the right to collect receipts from a bridge toll
for 75 years.
bridge is now a source of pride for Millau, which believes many more
tourists will come to admire one of the engineering wonders of the 21st
Century, our correspondent says.
construction also removes a bottleneck at the town, completing a new
motorway link between Paris and the Mediterranean. The
construction of the steel bridge, now weighing about 36,000 tones,
began in December 2001, using innovative techniques.
the north and south sides of the valley, the metal sections of the
structure were assembled, lifted slightly and then carefully slotted
into place on each of the supporting pillars.