Millau, Midi-Pyrénées, France
492 feet high / 150 meters high
394 foot span / 120 meter span
Image by isba.fr.
Located just 8 miles (13 kms) down the road from its much more famous brother at Millau, the Verrières Viaduct is one of France’s tallest viaducts. Composed of six steel box beam spans, the 4-lane highway structure leaps from one plateau to another in a graceful arc filled with several French flourishes.
The first thing to catch your eye are the narrow tapered piers with triangular shaped relief patterns that soar all the way up to the underside of the deck. Resting on these classy concrete cones is a large blue box beam flanked on both sides by a cantilevered road deck. Supporting this thin slab is an array of white angled struts arranged in a pleasing zig zag pattern that looks similar to a Warren truss. The design reduces the size of the core box and hence the overall weight of the beam. To construct this 15 foot (4.5 mtr) deep “backbone” of steel, individual sections were incrementally launched out from the sides of the canyon. André Mascarelli was the architect.
Verrières and Millau may be the two highest bridges on the A75 but this amazing highway is filled with many other great bridges that make it a museum of modern French bridge engineering. These include the Piou, Rioulong and Lodève motorway bridges with their Chevron-like pier patterns and the huge concrete frame bridge over the Truyère at Garabit with its dynamically shaped strut piers.
Verrières Viaduct Elevation
Image by Johannes Missol
Verrieres Viaduct satellite image.