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MODERN ENGINEERING MARVEL #1
  • The Millau Viaduct


    The tallest cable-stayed road bridge in the world (1,125 ft), the Millau Viaduct surpasses the Eiffel Tower (986 feet) and is almost as tall as the Empire State Building (1,250 ft). It is also the 12th highest bridge in the world, at 890 feet high below road deck (The Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall), and spans a distance of 1.5 miles.

    Completed in December of 2004, The Millau Viaduct was constructed to alleviate traffic congestion between Paris and Barcelona, particularly during the holiday months. French engineer Michel Virlogeux and British designer Norman Foster worked together on the project. Remarkably the Millau Viaduct took only took three years to complete. Though cable-stayed road bridges are typically built in sections and lifted into position with cranes, this bridge, close to 900 feet high, required a new technique. After building the towers, engineers constructed the roadway on either side of the towers and then rolled the two sides into the center. This technique carried several engineering risks but proved to be efficient in constructing the roadway.



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