Focus on a pylon of the viaduct
 
 
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Who are we?

Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau (CEVM) is the structure's concessionaire. The concession covers less than 4 km. 51% belongs to a subsidiary of the Eiffage Group, and 49% to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

The CEVM was awarded the concession of the Viaduct in 2001 following an international call for tenders. The concession contract stipulates that the CEVM must fund, maintain and operate the Millau Viaduct in return for toll collection. The contract is due to expire on 31 December 2079.

Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau roles.

The CEVM's 51 employees fulfil six roles: safety, practicability, technical maintenance, toll management, communications and general administration.

Viaduct traffic varies greatly from season to season. Some days in January, fewer than 5,000 vehicles go through the toll gate, whereas on some Saturdays in summer the number can be over 63,000, meaning the company needs to hire seasonal staff.

Safety

Safety is a priority and is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from a control station (CS) adjacent to the toll gate, 4 km from the viaduct.

The heart of the system, the CS is run by one or two supervisors. Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the traffic, activating an emergency response as soon as an incident requires it and coordinating operations until everything returns to normal.

On site, it is the patrol teams who perform safety duties, but also the maintenance work, cleaning, monitoring and testing of safety equipment. Most of their responses are to vehicle breakdowns and objects on the road.

The CEVM calls on external service providers such as authorised breakdown mechanics, and works together with the Prefecture, the police and fire and emergency services, who are ready to act according to the emergency response and safety plan approved by the Prefect.

CEVM staff are trained in safety issues (traumatic situations support, psychosocial risk management, French Highway Code, repetition of messages, safety procedures, etc.) and first aid techniques (half the staff are First Aid Officers).

Winter road maintenance

From 1 November to 31 March each year, winter road maintenance becomes a significant part of operations, due to the harsh winter weather conditions in the Aveyron department. The viaduct is located in a valley with very strong winds, high humidity and an altitude ranging from 620 to 700 metres, which exposes it to severe weather conditions.

Snow removal and road surface treatment has been entrusted to a local public works company, Sévigné, which is bound to the CEVM under a service contract.

A contract has also been signed between the CEVM and Météo France so as to receive daily updates of particularly detailed forecasts. Every night at 5 p.m., the supervisor and executive on call go over the weather conditions.

Technical maintenance

The role of the technical maintenance department is to ensure continuous operation of all the equipment and technical, electronic, electromechanical, computer and mechanical facilities of the concession. The maintenance team is made up of three technicians and a team leader, supervised by a department head. These five employees are on call 24 hours a day. Maintenance is monitored using CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System) software.

Monitoring the structure and its equipment involves the work of five people year-round, as well as subcontractors. All inspections have pronounced the structure to be in excellent condition. The ten-year guarantee came to an end without any ongoing litigation.

Toll management

An open-system toll gate is located 4 km north of the viaduct.

The gate includes 18 configurable lanes. It is configured depending on the volume and nature of traffic expected.

This toll gate has up to 30 staff working on days of heavy summer traffic, but has been able to operate without any staff on site (e.g. at night) since the "all payments lanes with recycling" (VTPR) were established.

So as not to overload the company, administrative and financial management of subscriptions has been entrusted to an external service provider, another motorway company AREA, and subsidiary of the Eiffage Group.

Communications

From the very the start of construction of the viaduct, Eiffage has stressed the importance of communications.

The general public has shown great interest in the project, and the French and international press extensively covered the event. Currently, while the viaduct may no longer feature in the latest news, it still attracts crowds and receives almost a million visitors per year, a third of whom cross the threshold of the two Eiffage spaces where the saga of the project is told.

Numerous requests for permission to use the viaduct's image (the architecture is protected by intellectual property) are made each year to the CEVM, while journalists continue to take an interest in the life of the structure.

The viaduct's race, Course Eiffage, which takes place every two years in May, attracts 15,000 runners for a single crossing of the structure, between heaven and earth.

A new phenomenon has also had to be dealt with: visitors' high demand for souvenirs. One hundred or so items featuring the Viaduct's image (postcards, caps, T-shirts, etc.) were created. The CEVM has given the company VED exclusive rights to create and market this merchandise (12 new products each year), sold in two main shops and retailers throughout the department.

Through its quality policy, the company pledges to measure, analyse, correct and continuously improve operations and interaction between the various entities, with the ultimate goal of guaranteeing our customers the quality of service they expect. Obtained in 2013, our ISO 9001 certification is reviewed annually.