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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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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The Pre-Construction and Planning Stage

The construction of the viaduct was to be handled by several Eiffage subsidiaries including Eiffage Construction (in charge of the construction of the piers, the abutments and the toll facility), Eiffel Company (Eiffel) (to construct the steel deck and pylons), Forclum (to handle all the electrical works, and Appia Research (Appia) (responsible for the development and application of the coating for the deck).

Eiffage also created a subsidiary company - Compagnie Eiffage du viaduct de Millau (CEVM) -- specifically to manage the toll facility and maintain the structure (Refer Exhibit IV for information regarding the subsidiaries of Eiffage)...

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Construction Begins

The first stone at the construction site was laid by Jean-Claude Gayssot, French Minister for Transport, on December 14, 2001. After about two weeks, work began with the digging of the bored-pile foundations for the piers...

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Completion of the Project

The construction of the bridge was planned in such a manner as to minimize the environmental impact. By using steel in place of concrete for most of the construction, the project employed fewer machines and trucks. This limited the inconvenience to people living in the surrounding towns.

Eiffage engaged the services of two environment specialists who guided them through the planning as well as execution stages of the project so as to ensure the environment friendliness of the project.


The Millau viaduct became the centerpiece of the new A75 roadway which, in turn, was part of the Paris-Barcelona highway, a distance of about 750 km (465 miles). Traffic on the Millau viaduct was forecast to be about 25,000 vehicles per day in the summer months and about 10,000 vehicles per day the rest of the year. The 24 km (15 mile) journey up and down the Tarn Valley, which had earlier taken three hours, was cut to less than 20 minutes...


Exhibit I: Photograph of the Millau Viaduct
Exhibit II: Millau Viaduct on Route A75
Exhibit III: The Millau Viaduct
Exhibit IV: About Eiffage TP Company
Exhibit V: Partners in the Construction of the Millau Viaduct
Exhibit VI: Advantages of Using Steel
Exhibit VII: Height of the Various Piers
Exhibit VIII: Cross Section of the Deck
Exhibit IX: The Deck with a Fixed Pylon and Six Cable Stays
Exhibit X: Deck with Cantilevers Placed on Traversers
Exhibit XI: Photograph of the Side Barriers
Exhibit XII: Cross Section of the Pylon
Exhibit XIII: Fixing the Pylons
Exhibit XIV: Millau Viaduct - Some Key Numbers
Exhibit XV: Toll Fees Collected as of 2006
Exhibit XVI: A Comparison of Millau Viaduct and the Proposed Bay Area Suspension Bridge


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