The pont Mirabeau

Published on 24 January 2008 (updated on 25 January 2008)

 

The pont Mirabeau
The pont Mirabeau
(Photo : ENPC)

Like the Pont Alexandre III, the Pont Mirabeau is a masterpiece of architectural elegance. It was built between 1893 and 1896 by Rabel, the engineer in charge of the bridges of Paris at the time with assistance from Résal and Alby. It was the first metal bridge to be built with two symmetrical cantilevered frames which it its balance. The bridge has a 93 metre central span with two 32.4 metre arches on either side. In spite of it very low level at the embankments it provides adequate headroom for barges.

The bridge’s name comes from the Rue Mirabeau nearby. Its delicate guardrail gives it a particular charm, as do the striking, somewhat plump, bronze statues that straddle the boats that form the upstream noses of the piers. One of these holds the trumpet of fame to its mouth, proclaiming an unknown message. The statues are the work of Antoine Injalbert and depict four sea gods.

The pont Mirabeau
The pont Mirabeau
(Photo : ENPC)

Designers: RESAL and ALBY
Construction date: 1893
Length: 190m
Width : 20m
Constructional features: Three metal arches with spans of 32, 93 and 32 metres, seven steel cantilevered trusses. Each truss consists of two symmetrical halves, joined together at the key by a hinge. Rocker bearings on the piers; anchor rods on the abutments. (A cantilevered half truss consists of a 49m suspended arm a 37m cantilever arm). Abutments with pile foundations. Piers on compressed air caissons resting on the chalk.

The pont Mirabeau
The pont Mirabeau
(Photo : ASCO-TP)

The bridge in works of art:
a) In 1912 it inspired Guillaume Apollinaire to write one of his most beautiful poems (in the collection “Alcools”)
Le Pont Mirabeau
Beneath Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine
And our love
Must I recall then
That joy came always after pain
(Translation Reuben Thomas)

b) song interpreted by Serge Regiani "Le Pont Mirabeau".