It is going into the record books as the world’s tallest bridge.
Twenty three metres taller than the Eiffel Tower, the Millau Bridge in southwestern France is due to be officially opened today by the country’s president. Designed by the British achitect Norman Foster, the structure will take traffic over the Tarn River in the Massif Centrale mountain range. The bridge reaches 343m at its highest point and is just under 2.5km long. It completes a major new motorway link – the A47 from Clermont-Ferrand to Beziers – which directly connects Paris to the Mediterranean. The project took a record three years to complete, and was overseen by the same company that built the Eiffel Tower. But such an engineering feat has not come cheap – it has cost a total of 394 million euros. The construction company has the right to keep the money from bridge tolls for the next 75 years. Motorists will pay 6.80 euros in peak times, reduced to 4.90 euros in quieterperiods.