Garabit Viaduct

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Garabit Viaduct
Viaduc de Garabit
St. Flour, Auvergne, France
407 feet high / 124 meters high
540 foot span / 165 meter span
1884

Image by Dominiq.


The largest and highest railway arch bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1884, Eiffel’s Garabit Viaduct was completed just 5 years before his famous tower in Paris. Eiffel had previously designed the Maria Pia, the world’s longest steel arch bridge in 1877 in Oporto, Portugal.

The most dynamic element of the Garabit Viaduct is the huge truss-arch which narrows as it rises but also becomes deeper as it rises, giving the structure a greater dimension than other arches of the time. Once crossing 406 feet (124 mtrs) over the Truyère river, a dam built downstream of the bridge has created a reservoir some 80 feet (24 mtrs) deep at the bridge crossing. The Garabit Viaduct can be seen from an exit and overlook near the beautiful A75 Truyère River frame bridge. Eiffel’s classic viaduct was featured in the 1976 film The Cassandra Crossing.

The opening of the Garabit Viaduct made it the only time in history that the world’s 3 highest bridges were all within one country. The highest was the 1839-built Charles Albert suspension bridge. In second place was the 1882 Pont Chatelet arch bridge. Garabit was the third. That feat will be repeated again in 2010 when China finally opens the Balinghe bridge which will join the Siduhe and Beipanjiang (2003) bridges as the world’s 3 highest. (Assuming you don’t count the Hegigio Gorge Pipeline span as a bridge).


Image by Aurélien Brohon.


Image by Dominiq.


Image by Dominiq.


Garabit Viaduct postcard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Garabit Viaduct postcard.


Image by Cyrille TV Boy.


Garabit Viaduct postcard.


Image by Rémi Gliozzo.


Garabit Viaduct postcard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Miguel Horville www.ulmag.fr


Image by Miguel Horville www.ulmag.fr


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Graeme Churchard.


Image by Jean-Michel Bernard.


Image by Ber' Colly. http://www.flickr.com/photos/33960023@N04/


Image by Tor Lillqvist.


Garabit Viaduct satellite image.

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