Pont de Normandie
The Pont de Normandie ( Normandy Bridge ) is a cable-stayed road bridge that spans the river Seine linking Le Havre to Honfleur in Normandy, northern France. Its total length is 2143.21 m – 856 m between the two piers. It is also the last bridge to cross the Seine before it empties into the ocean. Despite being a motorway toll bridge, there is a footpath as well as a narrow cycle lane in each direction allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross the bridge free of charge.
ConstructionThe bridge was designed by Michel Virlogeux, the general studies have been led by Bernard Raspaud from Bouygues, and the works management was shared between G. Barlet and P. Jacquet. The architects were François Doyelle and Charles Lavigne. Construction by Bouygues, Campenon Bernard, Dumez, Monberg & Thorsen, Quillery, Sogea and Spie Batignolles began in 1988 and lasted 7 years. The bridge opened on 20 January 1995.
At that time it was both the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, and also had a record distance between piers for a cable-stayed bridge. It was more than longer between piers than the previous record. This record was lost in 1999 to the Tatara Bridge in Japan. Its record for length for a cable-stayed bridge was lost in 2004 to the 2883 meters of the Rio-Antirrio. At the end of construction, the total cost for the bridge, all ancillary structures and finance costs was $465 million and was financed by Natixis. The bridge on its own cost €233 million (US$250 million).
The cable-stayed design was chosen because it was both cheaper and more resistant to high winds than a suspension bridge. Shortly after opening, the longest cables exhibited excessive vibrations, so several damping systems were quickly retrofitted.