Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

World’s Highest Bridge Opens in France

December 14, 2004

World’s Highest Bridge Opens in France
December 14, 2004 – CNN reports that French President Jacques Chirac has inaugurated the world’s highest bridge, a creation taller than the Eiffel Tower, longer than the Champs Elysees and designed to end a traffic bottleneck in southern France.

Chirac hailed the viaduct as a "marvel of art and architecture," a monument to French engineering genius that was a "miracle of equilibrium" and projected a bold, successful, modern image.

"The Millau Viaduct is a magnificent example, in the long and great French tradition, of audacious works of art, a tradition begun at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries by the great Gustave Eiffel," Chirac told a reception.

The highest of the bridge’s seven concrete pillars stands at 343 meters (1,125 ft), 19 meters (62 ft) higher than the Eiffel Tower. At almost 2.5 km (1.5 miles), it is longer than the Champs Elysees and slightly curved to afford drivers a dramatic view of the surrounding countryside and the ancient town of Millau with its medieval bell tower.

The Millau viaduct has drawn thousands of visitors since construction was started three years ago.

The bridge will open to traffic at midnight on Friday and is expected to channel an average of 10,000 vehicles per day, with peaks of 25,000 during the summer holidays.

Eiffage will charge a toll of 4.60 euros in the low season and 6.50 euros in July and August for cars using the bridge, part of the A75 motorway linking the cities of Clermont-Ferrand to Beziers. Lorries will pay 19 euros.

Eiffage has a 75-year concession to operate the viaduct and has guaranteed the structure for 120 years.

For the full story, visit

« »