Millau Viaduct: All You Need To Know

The Millau Viaduct is a multispan cable-stayed bridge completed in 2004 in the valley of the Tarn near Millau in the Aveyron department in the Occitanie region in southern France. The design team was led by engineer Michel Virlogeux and English architect Norman Foster. As of September 2020, it is the tallest bridge in the world, with a structural height of 336.4 meters (1,104 ft).

The Millau Viaduct is part of the A75–A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Béziers and Montpellier. The cost of construction was approximately €394 million ($424 million). It was built over three years, formally inaugurated on 14 December 2004, and opened to traffic two days later on 16 December. The bridge is consistently ranked as one of the greatest engineering achievements of modern times, and received the 2006 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. For more such updates, visit tallestclub.



In the 1980s, high levels of road traffic near Millau in the Tarn valley were causing congestion, especially in summer due to holiday traffic on the route from Paris to Spain. A method of bypassing Millau had long been contemplated, not only to reduce flow and travel times for long-distance traffic, but also to provide access to Millau for its local businesses and residents. also to improve the quality. One of those solutions was believed to be the construction of a road bridge to span the river and gorge valley. The first plans for a bridge were discussed by CETE in 1987, and by October 1991 it was decided to build a higher crossing of the Tarn by a structure approximately 2,500 m (8,200 ft) in length. During 1993–1994, the government consulted with seven architects and eight structural engineers. During 1995–1996, the second definition was studied by five affiliated architect groups and structural engineers. In January 1995, the government issued a Declaration of Public Interest seeking a design approach for the competition.

In July 1996 the jury decided in favor of a cable-stayed design with multiple spans, as proposed by the Sogelerg consortium led by Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster. In May 1998 it was decided to proceed with the grant of the contract; Then in June 2000, competition was launched for the construction contract, which was open to four associations. In March 2001, Eiffage established the subsidiary Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau (CEVM), and was declared the winner of the competition and awarded the major contract in August. You should also know the worlds tallest bridge.


Choose a specific route

The ‘high solution’ required the construction of a 2,500-metre-long (8,200 ft) bridge. From 1991 to 1993, Setra’s Structures Division, directed by Michel Virlogeux, conducted preliminary studies, and investigated the feasibility of a single structure spanning the valley. Taking into account the technical, architectural and financial issues, the road administration opened the question for competition between structural engineers and architects to broaden the search for realistic designs. By July 1993, seventeen structural engineers and thirty-eight architects had applied as candidates for preliminary studies. With the help of a multidisciplinary commission, the road administration selected eight structural engineers for technical studies and seven architects for architectural studies.


Technical design options

Simultaneously, a school of international experts representing a broad spectrum of expertise (technical, architectural and landscape), headed by Jean-François Coste, was established to clarify the choices that had to be made. In February 1995, based on proposals from architects and structural engineers, and with the support of the School of Experts, five general designs were identified.

The competition was restarted: five combinations of architects and structural engineers, drawn from the best candidates from the first phase, were created; Each had to do a thorough study of one of the common designs. On 15 July 1996, the Minister of Public Works, Bernard Ponce, announced the decision of the jury, which was made up of elected artists and experts, and was presided over by the highways director Christian Lerit. The solution for a multiple-span viaduct cable-stayed bridge, presented by structural engineering group Sogelerg, Europe Etudes Getty and Surf, and architects Foster + Partners, was declared the best.

Leave a Reply

Previous post Alexandra Bridge: All You Need To Know
Next post What is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway?