UnderstandThe women and men of the viaduct

The women and men of the viaduct

Constructing the viaduct required many skills, both in the design and execution of the project. Several thousand people united their energy and ingenuity to participate in this unique endeavour. At the peak of construction, nearly 600 workers were working simultaneously on the site.

The designers

The engineer, Michel Virlogeux, graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the French National School of Bridges and Roads, is an expert on bridges around the world.
He designed the bridge to Ile de Ré (1988), the Normandy Bridge (1995), as well as the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul.

Lord Norman Foster, a Master's graduate in architecture, is one of the main practitioners of "high-tech" architecture.
At the head of a firm (Foster & Partners) of more than 1,500 employees, he handles several dozen projects per year: City Hall and Millennium Bridge in London, the Reichstag building in Berlin and the Carré d'Art in Nîmes.

Two great talents behind the viaduct project!

Construction roles

Director of the Division Ponts et Ouvrages d'art

With the support of the design office Greisch, the director of the bridges and structures division developed the translation mechanisms. 64 machines, simultaneously set in motion by hydraulic cylinders, were able to significantly reduce the friction forces at work between the deck and its supports during launching. A unique system of "pushing" specially designed for the viaduct, which won it a world record for distance by the way!

Crane operator

The crane operator's main task is to move and distribute the materials needed for construction using a tower crane with a cabin. A key worker endowed with precision, speed, composure and a sense of responsibility... all essential for the construction of viaduct piers! 


The topographer collects information about the terrain in order to draw up the plans necessary for construction. Unfailing precision!


The formworker positions the formwork pieces with millimetre accuracy to produce the piers... A real challenge to keep pace with the rising piers!


Putting together the various metal parts that make up the deck and pylons: an example of patience and attention to detail when it comes to handling thousands of tonnes of materials!

Site manager

Responsible for the day-to-day running of the site and ensuring the work is carried out satisfactorily, the site manager keeps a watchful eye on all aspects of construction. Rather like an orchestra conductor!

Lift operator

Ensuring the safety of the lifts taking teams to the top of the piers... A real challenge on a construction site of this size!