Millau Viaduct

Millau Viaduct
Millau Viaduct

The British architect Norman Foster we have named him on several occasions to mention some of his most emblematic architectural creations, such as the new Wembley Stadium in London or the remodeling of the Reichstag in Berlin with its famous dome that can be visited.


Millau Viaduct

Well, today we are going to deal with one of his greatest projects, at least in terms of dimensions. It is the Millau Viaduct that runs in France, next to the village of Millau in the department of Aveyron. Without a doubt a great achievement, and any number that is given on this highway bridge is impressive.

For example, it bridges a distance of almost 2.5 kilometers thanks to its cable-stayed structure. And those straps, makes its highest part reach 343 meters high, at a point where strong winds are common. In fact, anemometers have recorded gusts of wind with speeds of over 200 kilometers per hour.

This element and other conditions were the object of attention by the thoughtful studies of the land that were made prior to its construction. In fact, it was all quite a slow process, since it began to be projected in 1987, but it was not inaugurated until 2004. A considerable time and of course an enormous cost that is estimated at 320 million euros.

Even so, the work has been a reference for theroad traffic in this area of ​​France, since some 4.5 million vehicles pass through it throughout the year, paying a significant toll for it.

The work is impressive and it would be unfair to only attribute it to Foster. In fact, it is necessary to quote the prestigious French engineer Michel Virloguex. Although the truth is that it was a project in which more than 500 people worked, and the name of all of them was recorded on a cylinder that was integrated into one of the bridge's pylons.

There are seven pylons to support a deck for traffic that extends for 2,460 meters, whose road rises at its highest point to 270 meters from the ground. This road weighs neither more nor less than 36,000 tons, since it is more than 4 meters thick and 32 meters wide. Although if we add seven pylons and all the braces, the total weight of the work is 350,000 tons.

In addition, it was designed in a curved and sloped line, to favor the vision of drivers. In short, it is a great and very functional work, in view of its continuous use. And although it is clear that it involved a multimillion-dollar investment, other route possibilities were considered before undertaking it, and it turned out that due to the relationship between costs, works and functionality, the Millau Viaduct was the best option. And without a doubt, a tremendously attractive and impressive structure was achieved.

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