Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Millau Viaduct
By Matt Palmquist

(Business 2.0) – Since opening a month ahead of schedule in December, the Millau Viaduct has gained international recognition as a major engineering feat and one of the most stunning bridges ever built, greatly reducing traffic congestion between Paris and Barcelona. The 1.6-mile bridge--the highest in the world and taller than the Eiffel Tower--employs a new cable-stay construction that blends with the landscape of the Tarn River Valley. Collaborating with British architect Norman Foster, France's Eiffage, Europe's sixth-largest construction firm, privately funded the bridge in exchange for a 75-year operating contract. That arrangement, as well as the fact that the bold design required no tunnel construction and therefore minimized the environmental impact, provides a blueprint for governments that have struggled to complete massive engineering projects on time without massive cost overruns. -- M.P.