Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge spanning the Tarn River valley in Southern France.
It was designed to ease holiday traffic, and has become a tourist attraction in itself. The bridge is a spectacular feat of engineeering.
Le Viaduc de Millau opened in 2004. It was designed by architects Foster and Partners and structual engineer Dr. Michael Virlogeux, it entered the record books as the world’s tallest vehicular bridge because one of its seven concrete piers stands a mighty 345m (804ft) tall.
The eight-lane stell roadway forms a long arc high above the valley floor, allowing traffic to bypass the medieval town of Millau. The bridge has been recognised as an amazing technical feat, but it is also an incredibly inspiring design. Each of its seven piers is topped with a 90m (295ft) cable-stayed mast, giving it an elegant sail-like profile that looks particularly impressive when it is alluminated at night.
Travellers speeding between clemont-Ferrand ans Beziers, or driving onwards to spain have reason to be grateful on two counts: Firstly -the bridge has cut the journey time by four hours in peak holiday season; and secondly, it has added to the appeal of this beautiful reiver valley.