Sunday 27 March 2016

The Millau Viaduct.

The roads in France are generally in a much better state than in the UK. The motorways are always busy round major cities or filled with light traffic depending on whether there is a toll to pay or not. As far as possible, we try to avoid using the motorways as it gives us a chance to see a bit more of the country.  Motor homing in the mountains, can be both exciting and very picturesque. 

The town of Millau and the river Tarn in the Pyrenees.

You can see the road snaking down the mountain side, before entering into the town of Millau. Which nestles in the middle of the Pyrenees.  In the far distance partly covered by trees, is the old stone built Millau Bridge. There is one wonder of the French roads that we wanted to 'do' and that's to cross over the New Millau Viaduct.  However, we were forced by high winds and being in a high sided vehicle to avoid crossing the new viaduct this time.

The New Millau Bridge.

The Millau Viaduct carries the A75 motorway across the Tarn valley. Designed by Norman Foster the magnificent viaduct has established itself as one of the must see and must experience road trips in France. The viaduct is the world's highest multi-span bridge (The road deck is 900 ft above the valley floor at its deepest) and the longest suspended bridge in the world and well worth a visit. At the northern end of the viaduct, there is a large motorway 'aires' area, offering spectacular views of the viaduct, as well as a visitor centre with information on the bridge and its building. 

To give an impression of scale. The six central spans are each 342 metres (1,122 feet) in length.  This is almost twice as high as the second-highest road bridge in Europe, the Europabr├╝cke on Austria's Brenner pass motorway. The roadway over the Millau bridge is 2.46 kilometres (1.52 miles) long, and weighs about 36,000 tonnes. It is the longest cable supported bridge deck in the world. 


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