The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road bridge which spans the valley of the river Tarn situated alongside the Township of Millau in Southern France. The viaduct standing over 343 meters tall was the world’s tallest cable-stayed bridge and was proposed as the missing link in the A75 auto route that connects Paris in the north to Perpignan in the south. The Millau Viaduct was the product of 17 years of ideas, proposals, planning and designs that resulted in shaving 40 miles off the former route through the region, a boom in local economic development and the completion of the one of the world’s most well managed and constructed projects.
The initial objectives of the project are to provide a link in the national and international road network, and to promote economic development and tourism locally by improving access to the connection of Clermont Ferrand and Beziers on the A75 highway. This in turn will serve to relieve the severe traffic congestion due to large quantity of traffic currently passing through the town of Millau.
Stakeholders and Management:
* Government of France (GoF)
* Local Government authorities : The commune of Millau and the Grands Causses Grouping of Communes * The Arrondissement Interdepartemental des Ouvrages d’Art (AIOA) was given responsibility for monitoring the project by the State. It reports to the Infrastructure Directorate of the Aveyron, which manages the construction works of the A75. * Roads users
Project charter is produced with the initial scope being the feasibility studies into the different routes of the A75 highway. This initial scope will be redefined as the project progresses through each planning stage. Other areas considered are economic development and environmental impact research.
Construct a toll free motorway by connecting route through the Tarn Valley to connect French towns of Clermont Ferrand and Beziers along the A75 Highway. Objectives:
* Reduce congestion in Millau
* Promote economic development and tourism
* Offer major international highway
French authorities AIOA commission studies into the solution of the congestion within Millau and possible routes of connecting the A75 highway. Four possible solutions presented:
1. ‘Eastern Option’ – construction of bypass to the east of the township of Millau and which also included two large bridges over the rivers Tarn and Dourbie. This option did not provide access to Millau, and residents protested strongly for protecting Dourbie from the A75. 2. ‘Western Option’ – construction of bypass to the west of Millau Township with the construction of four bridges. This option also did not provide access to Millau and was met by strong protest from local villages. 3. ‘RN9 option’ – Directly through Millau from the North to cross the Tarn and then join Larzac by travelling south. This proposal hit various technical difficulties, with the major concern of the gradient being too dangerous for freight traffic, and the impact on the urban environment. 4. ‘Median option’ – Starts at the St Germain villages in the north, cross the Tarn to the Franc and upwards towards Larzac.
The feasibility of the ‘Median option’ was considered most suitable and selected by the GoF, (see App: Fig (1)) as it directly avoided multiple geological problems, lower risks to safety, absolute minimal environmental impact risks and reduced overall costs considerably.
Redefining Project Analysis:
Further technical studies were required to consider the most appropriate design of bridging the Tarn Valley. The decision was separated into four stages: 1. Decision of ‘high’ or ‘low’ bridge solution
2. Definition of Project
3. Competition for design of project
4. Overall selection of final project
An Evaluation Committee setup by the Gof which was comprised of...
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