Millau Viaduct videos

The Millau Viaduct (French: le Viaduc de Millau) is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France. Designed by English architect Norman Foster, in collaboration with French bridge engineer Michel Virlogeux, it is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with one pier’s summit at 343 metres (1,125 ft)—slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower and only 38 m (125 ft) shorter than the Empire State Building. It was formally dedicated on 14 December 2004 and opened to traffic two days later.

Millau Viaduct is located at 44.077165° N 3.022887° E. Before the bridge was constructed, traffic had to descend into the Tarn River valley and pass along the route nationale N9 near the town of Millau, causing heavy congestion at the beginning and end of the July and August vacation season. The bridge now traverses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking the causse du Larzac to the causse rouge, and is inside the perimeter of the Grands Causses regional natural park.

The bridge forms the last link of the A75 autoroute, (la Méridienne) from Clermont-Ferrand to Pézenas (to be extended to Béziers by 2010). The A75, with the A10 and A71, provides a continuous high-speed route south from Paris through Clermont-Ferrand to the Languedoc region and through to Spain, considerably reducing the cost of vehicle traffic travelling along this route. Many tourists heading to southern France and Spain follow this route because it is direct and without tolls for the 340 km between Clermont-Ferrand to Pézenas, except for the bridge itself.

The Eiffage group operates the viaduct as a toll bridge, with the toll currently (Nov 2006) set at €5.10 for light automobiles (€6.80 during the peak months of July and August). The bridge was constructed by the Eiffage group, which also built the Eiffel Tower, under a government contract which allows the company to collect tolls for up to 75 years.
[Source: Wikipedia]

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