Millau Viaduct: Creating an Engineering Marvel

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : PROM006
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2001-2004
Organization : Eiffage TP
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : France
Industry : Construction

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Background Note

The original A75 motorway, which linked Clermont Ferrand and Beziers, passed through the town of Millau in the middle of the Tarn Valley. Motorists had to descend into the valley through a steep road and cross the town of Millau, to reach the other end of the valley. The roads were generally crowded and the situation worsened in the summer months when motorists took close to three hours to cross the valley. Therefore, the French authorities commissioned studies to find a solution to the traffic bottleneck without affecting the scenic beauty of the Tarn Valley (See Exhibit II for A75 Route).

The initial studies to find a solution to the traffic problems started in 1988. These studies came up with four possible solutions.

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The 'eastern option' involved the construction of a bypass to the east of Millau town and included two large bridges over the rivers Tarn and Dourbie8. The 'western option' involved the construction of a bypass almost 12 km to the west of Millau and the construction of four bridges.

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The 'following the path of Route Nationale 9 option' passed right through Millau but at the cost of unwanted intrusion on the town and several technical difficulties. The last option - the 'median option' - meant going over to the other side through the middle of the valley.

The 'median option' was considered to be the most suitable as it avoided several geological problems encountered in the other options. Implementation of this option was to have minimal environmental impact, offer better safety, and involve lower costs. This option also received overwhelming support from the local populace.

On June 28, 1989, the median option was selected by Aix-en-Provence's9 Centre d'Etudes Techniques de l'Equipement (CETE), a public consulting firm under the GoF with the authority to propose technical solutions for traffic management...

Excerpts >>


8] A tributary of the Tarn River.

9] Aix-en-Provence is a city in southern France.

 

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