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Millau Viaduct – France

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France boasts of a number of wonderful and scenic tourist destinations one of which is the Millau Viaduct Bridge which covers the Tarn River valley near Millau in the southern provinces of France. Started in December 2004, the Millau Viaduct Bridge has a number of features which make it remarkable.

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Firstly it is a cable supported bridge and next it is known to be the tallest bridge of the world where the tip of the mast is 343 metres above the base of the bridge. The Millau Viaduct Bridge is also famous for having the 12th highest deck amongst all bridges across the world which is at a height of 270 metres. The famous Millau Viaduct Bridge falls on the way to Paris from Montpellier.

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The Millau Viaduct Bridge was designed by the architect duo Norman Foster and Michel Virlogeux and it took €400 million for the construction of the bridge. The architectural magnificence not only got recognition to the Millau Viaduct Bridge but also attracts more than 3000 visitors per day to the area. So far the bridge has got 40 million vehicles which passed through it.

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The construction work of the Millau Viaduct Bridge was conducted by three member companies of the Eiffage group. While the concrete works were done by the Eiffage TP group, the steel works for the roads were undertaken by the Eiffel Company and the hydraulic supports which were needed for the roadway on the bridge were provided by Enerpac Company. The other companies which got involved in the project were Setec, Appia, Forclum, and Freyssinet. The total amount of concrete which went in to the construction of the Millau Viaduct Bridge was 127,000 cubic metres, 19000 tonnes of steel and 5,000 tonnes of steel through the cables. After using such volumes of raw material the builders committed a lifetime of 120 years for the bridge.

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During the construction of the Millau Viaduct Bridge various departments like the WWF, France Nature Environment, federation of motorways, and so on raised objects to the venture. While some authorities said that introducing toll would reduce the usage of the bridge, and the cost will never return back, that it cannot solve the congestion problems of Millau, others said that such a voluminous bridge would not be sustainable. The successful creation and working of the bridge let all of them down.

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The magnificence of the Millau Viaduct Bridge can be best captured from the motorway rest area which is there on the northern side of the bridge. The sunrise in the autumn when the bridge emerges from the veil of overnight mists is known to be the best time of capturing the glimpse of the Millau Viaduct Bridge. Toll booths are located near the northern end of the bridge and the rates vary during the various months of the year. The Millau Viaduct Bridge also gets broadcasted in some programmes of the French television.

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