Amazing Bridge in France: the Millau Viaduct

May 27, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

I was checking MSNBC tonight when I saw a link to the “Worlds Most Amazing Bridges.”  OK, fair enough, I thought.  It turned out to be an awesome collection of bridges, selected for a variety of qualities.  One of the bridges stood out for its raw dimensions, however:  The Millau Viaduct near Millau France (southern France, near Spain).

Image by facemepls at Flickr (creative commons)

Image by facemepls at Flickr (creative commons)

Check out the dimensions:

This breathtaking cable-stayed bridge, completed in 2004, is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world. It spans the valley of the Tarn River near Millau in France, with a total length of 8,071 feet. Its maximum height soars to 1,130 feet. This colossus was engineered by Michel Virlogeux and designed by Norman Foster. At 890 feet, its road bridge deck is the highest in the world; drivers have said it feels like sailing through a cloud.


Image by Erich Vieth

To put this incredible bridge in perspective, we have a spectacular monument in St. Louis.  Our 630 foot tall Gateway Arch is often described as even “soaring.”   See insert.   Now consider that the road deck of the Millau Viaduct is 260 feet taller than the Gateway Arch and that it runs for more than 1 1/2 miles.  Consider, too, that the tallest towers of the bridge (1,130 feet) are taller than the Eiffel Tower (986 ft) and almost as tall as the Empire State Building (1250 feet).


Image by phillipc at Flickr

For more spectacular views, check out the website of the architechts, Foster + Partners, where you’ll learn that the Millau Viaduct “connects the motorway networks of France and Spain, opening up a direct route from Paris to Barcelona. The bridge crosses the River Tarn, which runs through a spectacular gorge between two high plateaux.”


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Category: Art, hypocrisy, photography

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Here's a local bridge in St. Louis County that is so subtle that locals who travel across it probably don't even realize that they have:

    <img src="; width="425">

    It was built not to cross a river, but to protect wetlands.

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