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Completed in 1902, this railway bridge - listed among the Historical Monuments in France - cross the valley where the Viaur River runs. Imagined by Engineer Paul Bodin, this steel-made masterpiece will surprise you with its apparent lightness!
Let this construction of genious carry you away...
Between Aveyron & Tarn, in the heart of the Ségala, the Viaur Viaduct & its 3,800 tons of steel, seems to lay down, as light as a feather, on the hillsides of the Viaur Valley.
It is a remarkable metal work of the engineer Paul Bodin : steel girders, arches, a million of rivets... This aerial lace is 166m high & 460m long, with a 220m-wingspread central arch.
You will be amazed by the harmony between technique & nature.
... & its innovative technique!
The Viaur Viaduct was subject to an architecture competition in 1887, open to engineers: 8 drafts were submited, including one from a certain... Gustave Eiffel. In the end, the draft chosen was Paul Bodin's, who was engineer in the Société des Batignolles and teacher at the Ecole centrale.
This steel bridge, assembled thanks to hand-put rivets, is composed of 2 cantilivered girders each balanced, jointed & extended with a constant cross-section short girder & 2-arch stonework abutments. The central arch is made of 2 symmetrical frameworks leaning against each other in the middle of the bridge thanks to a jointed key.
This is the only bridge of this kind in France. This technique allows the central arch to deform freely under the influence of the loads supported when trains cross on, temperature changes & wind.
To learn more:
> A marked walk starting in Tanus (Tarn) will allow you to enjoy it from every angle (description in French).
> With the 3 viewpoints (Aire du Gô, aire Paul Bodin, aire du Yunnan), you can take fabulous pictures (see the map below - pdf format).
> To know it all, you can read the online leaflet about the Viaur Viaduct.
See more pictures
Viaduc du Viaur12800 Tauriac-de-Naucelle lat. 44.125671 - lon. 2.331749
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