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World’s Tallest Bridge

February 23, 2007

This is seriously mind blowing:

Construction of the Millau Bridge in France

The Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains is more than 300m (984ft) high – taller even than the Eiffel Tower. With its concrete and steel pillars soaring high above the morning fog in the Tarn Valley, the construction makes a spectacular sight.

Architecture, Construction

Construction began in October 2001 and was intended to take three years, but dragged even longer because of weather conditions. The bridge was built by Eiffage, the same company that built the Eiffel Tower.

Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction

A complicated system of hydraulic rams was used to slide the vast bridge deck into place. It was provided by Enerpac Hydraulic Systems – the company which also “lifted” Golden Gate Bridge off its foundation for better cushioning against earthquakes. Here is a diagram of pushing the bridge’s deck:

Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction

The deck was pushed in two sections from both sides of the valley. Each push cycle lasted 4 minutes and moved the deck section 600mm a time.

Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction
Architecture, Construction

From both sides of the valley the metal sections of the bridge are assembled, lifted slightly and then in an elaborate manoeuvre pushed into place on each of the seven supporting pillars. The architect, Norman Foster, said the bridge was designed to have the “delicacy of a butterfly”

Architecture, Construction

Architecture, Construction

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