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Gallic curves: the Térénez Bridge, France

The new Térénez bridge across the River Aulne in Brittany, north west France, links the French department Finistère with the Crozon peninsula.

The hills are alive

The new 515m long, curved, cable-stayed structure, with a clear span of 285m, sits within the hills of the countryside, and engineers designing and constructing the newest crossing of the Aulne tried to blend it into the rural estuary landscape.

As a result the €41.5M (£36.2M) Térénez bridge has no straight or vertical lines as it swoops across the river.
Architect Charles Lavigne and engineer Michel Virlogeux created the bridge design, deciding against a conventional crossing with standard box girders because it would be a “blot on the landscape” requiring three piers and a thick deck.

Landscape-hugging curves

The curved design allows the designer to position the bridge within the valley but not encroach on it. Construction of a new bridge was essential, as it forms part of the route between the cities of Brest and Douarnenez, and relieves local traffic within the Armorique Regional Nature Park.

The crossing, with 7.5m-wide roadway flanked by two paths, is supported by two 100m high lambda-shaped towers.

Main contractor Vinci Construction, together with subsidiary firms Dodin, Campenon Bernard, GTM and Sogea, and with design support from Vinci Construction Grands Projets, began building the new bridge in 2007.

Construction was completed in April.

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