Wednesday, November 4, 2009

viaduc de millau

One of the monuments we designed our road trip around was Le Viaduc de Millau.  Millau is a small town Northwest of Montpellier in Southern France.  Before 2004, the town was constantly bombarded by passing traffic- since it is nestled down in a valley between two high plateaus, descending and passing through the city was the only solution for traffic to move through the area.  In 2001 the government decided to build a bridge across the two plateaus, cutting at least an hour and a half commute to less than 10 minutes.  

And when the French start building something like this, well it's usually 'go big or go home' (need to figure out how to say that in French...)  The bridge is 2,460 meters long (1.5 miles!) and 343 meters high (1,125 feet).  There are 6 pylons that go from the ground up to the top of the bridge.  The base of several of the pylons are about the size of a tennis court!  

On our drive down we passed over top the bridge.

approaching the bridge.

it was pretty impressive. 

On our drive back up from Perpignan to Beaune, we decided to drive into Millau so we could see the bridge from below.  

It was even more impressive from below.

I will admit it kind of made my head spin to be underneath it.  Concrete would really hurt falling from that high.

It was a cool part of the trip to see something of that scope in the middle of the French countryside.  There were many people who were upset about the skyline being ruined, but I actually think they did a wonderful job with the design.  I think it gives the illusion of arching clouds, and it meshes quite well into the valley.  A little different goal than the Golden Gate bridge as far as blending in, but hey : )

Stay tuned for more bits of my vacation over the rest of the week!


1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Bah that's so cool!! And you must figure out how to say "go big or go home"... tooo funny

food for thought.

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