The Austerlitz Viaduct
- The Austerlitz Viaduct
- (Photo : ENPC)
The Austerlitz Viaduct was built to carry the Place d’Italie - Bobigny Metro line. This metal viaduct was designed by the architect Jean Camille FORMIGE and built in 1903 and 1904 by the engineers Louis Biette and Fulgence Bienvenüe. It was constructed without piers in the Seine so as not to disrupt river traffic which was already restricted by the nearby Pont d’Austerlitz. The viaduct has two large parabolic arches with three hinges, one at the summit and two near the banks of the river.
The deck is 140m long and 8.5m wide and located 11.3m above the river. The engineers were forced to place the arches above the deck. The abutments, which support the ends of the arches of the viaduct on the riverbanks were built on masonry blocks measuring 22m long and 18m wide. While the approach from the Gare d’Austerlitz posed no particular problem, the same was not true on the other side. The site configuration meant that the Metro line had to descend on a 75m radius curve to pass under Place Mazas.
- The viaduct approach ramp
- (Photo : ENPC)
Jean Camille Formigé was responsible for the decorations on the pillars, the arches and the abutments of the viaduct. These consist of dolphins, shells, seaweed and animal faces. The arch skewbacks are partly hidden by cast iron designs featuring the coat of arms of Paris attached to anchors. The sculptor Gustave Michel produced the sculpted decoration on the piers. The Austerlitz Viaduct was strengthened in 1936 to enable it to withstand an increase in the weight of trains.
Architect : JEAN-CAMILLE FORMIGE
Designers: Louis BIETTE, FULGENCE BIENVENUE
Contractor:SOCIETE DE CONSTRUCTION DE LEVALLOIS-PERRET for the viaduct. The company DAYDE et PILLE for the approach ramp.
Construction date: 1903-1904
Length: 140 m (without the approach viaduct)
Width : 8.50 m