Original Project Objectives:
After Ten years of research and four years of implementation the Millau Viaduct finally broke records and was widely regarded as an exemplary Project. Construction began on 10th October 2001 and was intended to take three years to complete construction but weather conditions put work on the bridge behind schedule. A revised schedule aimed for the bridge to be opened in January 2005. Once revised it was completed many weeks ahead of schedule and inaugurated by President Chirac on 14 December 2004. It then opened for traffic on 16 December 2004. The original contract was a 39-month contract to design in detail and build the $285 million Bridge with the cost of construction being entirely funded by the concessionaire.The length of time allowed to Eiffage to recoup the cost of Construction, 75 years, confirms fears that recouping the cost of the bridge from toll payments will be a slow process. Such a long time to recoup these costs will mean that the Project is a very risky one and a strong emphasis must be made on quality to justify the costs. There were two possible structural approaches for the Bridge: to celebrate the act of crossing the river or to articulate the challenges of spanning the 2.46 kilometres from one plateau to the other in the most economical manner. The French Government agreed upon the latter, spanning the 2.46 kilometres, as the river was very narrow in this region so it had a small geographic impact despite its historical presence. The original design, by architect Foster & Partners, and consultants Sogelerg, EEG and Serf, was for a concrete cable-stayed bridge with seven towers rising to 235m and with 350m long spans. Eiffage put forward a steel alternative which involves the deck being launched from the side of the valley.
Of the three major factors (time, cost and quality) in this Project. It would be reasonable to assume that Quality was the over-riding factor. A project of this scale where no...
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