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Woah! Pretty wild :smile:

From the BBC:




The world's highest road bridge has been inaugurated in southern France by President Jacques Chirac.
The Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains is more than 300m (984ft) high - taller even than the country's Eiffel Tower.

The bridge, which opens to traffic on Thursday, was built to clear summer traffic jams around the town. The BBC's Paris correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, says the bridge is one of the most breathtaking ever built. She says that with its concrete and steel pillars soaring high above the morning fog in the Tarn Valley, the construction makes a spectacular sight.

'Delicacy of a butterfly'

Seven slender piers support the roadway, rising into seven graceful pylons bound to the bridge with what look like cobwebs of steel, our correspondent says. "The bridge is just on the clouds," Millau Mayor Jacques Godfrain told the BBC's World Today programme. "The architect, Norman Foster, gave us a model of art."

TALL ORDER
Cost: 394m euros (£272m; $524m)
Highest point: 343m (1,125ft)
Vehicle height: 270m (885ft)

Mr Foster said the bridge was designed to have the "delicacy of a butterfly". "A work of man must fuse with nature. The pillars had to look almost organic, like they had grown from the earth," the world-renowned British architect said in an interview with regional daily newspaper Midi Libre.

Like Concorde and the Channel Tunnel, the bridge is Franco-British. French construction group Eiffage - that built the Eiffel Tower - financed the project in return for the right to collect receipts from a bridge toll for 75 years.

The bridge is now a source of pride for Millau, which believes many more tourists will come to admire one of the engineering wonders of the 21st Century, our correspondent says. The construction also removes a bottleneck at the town, completing a new motorway link between Paris and the Mediterranean. The construction of the steel bridge - now weighing about 36,000 tonnes - began in December 2001, using innovative techniques.

From the north and south sides of the valley, the metal sections of the structure were assembled, lifted slightly and then carefully slotted into place on each of the supporting pillars.

Motorists are expected to pay 4.6 euros (£3.18; $5.60) for a trip across the bridge.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4091813.stm
 

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Heck yeah!! That is a pretty slick piece of work.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Micah said:
wow, thats amazing!

Now, I wonder how long it will be before someone commits suicide there.

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:lol:

South of France...I remember being on the bus along the Mediterranean heading toward Italy. Mountains right up to the coast, but the road stays level - you go through a long tunnel, then on a high bridge, then back through a tunnel. Pretty cool.
 

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:Wow1: I heard about it on the news, but I hadn't seen any pics of it until now.

Millau is around about here...



...so I figure it can go on my "must see" list for next years' Euro tour... :smile:
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Haywood said:
And not a bad price either...

That woul'da been in the 50 billion range if they'd built it in the US.

:rolling:

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I was about to say the exact same thing. The new Wilson Bridge (bridge they're building to link MD and VA south of DC) will cost $2.5 billion!! And it's not anywhere close to the technological marvel as the French bridge /wwwthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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I remember walking along the top of that huge aquaduct in Nimes? France. That was awesome, I'd love to drive across that bridge or stand at the base of one of the supports and look up at it!

JM
 

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eClogs
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They slid the halves together, pretty cool. I saw a documentary about it on Discovery a few weeks back...

 

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Bridges of that design style are quite comon here in Japan though none on quite that grade a scale. THe height of that reminds me on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the Olympic Peninsula. Scary especially in high winds
 

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[ QUOTE ]
JoshN said:
$524 million? That's it???

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Pocket money... :grin:
 

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Kristian- we're going to see it next summer :waytogo:

You know, I wanted to do a short cut through the central massif anyway before hitting the mediterranean sea :grin: - and I found a great ride along the coast there /wwwthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 
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