Impacts of the viaduct
A lasting contribution to planning and tourism
- The duration and scale of the works on the viaduct mean that it will employ about 500 persons and have considerable benefits for the local economy.
- Eiffage has appointed a coordinator to work in partnership with local leaders to ensure the worksite is well integrated with all aspects of local life (housing, jobs, roads, etc.).
- The coordinator will also, with elected representatives and government departments, participate in studies to develop the site after the bridge has been opened, in particular with regard to tourism.
For housing, Eiffage is working with the local authorities and government departments to develop housing programmes to lodge about 200 of its staff but also to help meet the long-term needs of the Millau conurbation.
- The exceptional size of the Millau viaduct, its aesthetic appeal and the natural splendour of the south of Aveyron (the Gorges du Tarn) are all tourist attractions in the region.
- All very large engineering structures such as the Normandy and Tancarville Bridges or the Rance tidal power station, have become very popular tourist destinations for both individuals and groups, as is apparent from the number of visitors passing through their information centres.
- The recent rise in industrial tourism is also undeniable, as witnessed by the tremendous success of industrial sites that open their doors to the public.
- It is therefore likely that the Millau viaduct will be more than just a structure on a motorway which travellers cross in a hurry. Many of them will take the time to look carefully at the bridge from the relaxation area upstream of the toll barrier or from the information centre.
Like one of its very distinguished ancestors, the Pont du Gard, or a more recent structure, the Garabit Viaduct (designed by the founder of the company Eiffel, a subsidiary of Eiffage which is involved with work on the Millau viaduct), the Millau viaduct will become a holiday destination, or at least a stopping place for people visiting the important sites of French technological and historical heritage.