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The Millau Viaduct - the main wonder of industrial France

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The Millau Viaduct - the main wonder of industrial France

One often hears the question from tourists: "Why is Paris connected to the small provincial town of Beziers by such a complex, large and expensive bridge?" Bezier is the French equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge, the future prestigious university town. Already today, here you can get quality education in schools, universities and colleges, refresher courses. Therefore, building the Millau viaduct connecting Paris and Mediterranean Béziers was a great idea that the French have been proud of since the opening of the bridge. Do not neglect the opportunity to enjoy this miracle of the modern industry.

Millau: from idea to construction

The bridge, which has become a reference for all designers, was developed by a pair of talented engineers - Michelle Virlazho and Norman Foster. Prior to that, Norman Foster worked on English landmarks, for which Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the knighthood on him, and on the reconstruction of the Reichstag. In addition to this pair of specialists, the famous Bureau of Gustave Eiffel, which at one time created the Eiffel Tower, took part in the design.

The first stone was laid in December 2001. The construction did not go very quickly - this was influenced by factors:

  • Each support has been individually designed to make the bridge 100% safe. Each support has its own size, based on the load, the largest is 25 meters at the base
  • The places where it was planned to install the supports had to be strengthened
  • Much time was spent on transportation of the bridge parts: the weight of one section of the main support (there are 16 in total) - 2,300 tons
  • The harsh climate near the Thar River, through which the Viaduct was built
  • The work on the study of the area and adaptation of the project lasted 10 years
  • To prevent the asphalt from deteriorating, scientists have developed a special formula for non-perishable nano-concrete.

The construction was completed in 2004, and since then, the Millau Viaduct is the highest road bridge in the world.

Millau's criticism

Many of the great buildings in Paris have been criticized by locals, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur Basilica. This fate was not spared either by the Millau viaduct: opponents of the construction said that the bridge was unreliable, would quickly collapse due to shifts in the gorge, too many funds were spent on it, which would never pay off, the use of cutting-edge technologies was unjustified, and many other arguments. The authorities listened to each of the critics' arguments and provided explanations. The protests lasted until the end of construction.

Interesting Facts

  • There are 7 observation decks on the viaduct
  • You can have a picnic on the sites: many families bring food and wine, sit and enjoy the beautiful views for several hours
  • One of the pillars of the Millau Bridge is 341 meters high, which is higher than the tallest structure in Paris - the Eiffel Tower
  • Bridge length - 2.5 kilometers
  • Millau has a motorway, walking and cycling paths
  • 38 bureaus and 17 private specialists took part in the competition for the design of the bridge
  • A total of 20 million euros were spent on construction alone
  • The construction company gave a guarantee for its work for 120 years.

The object belongs to bridges.

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