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Hi, need to submit a 2250 words paper on the topic Civil Engineering and Construction: Millau Viaduct. The bridge has a slight gradient of 3% from North to South and a slight curve of approximately 20000m radius. The pylons are made of steel and the piers of post-tensioned concrete (Saxton, 2007).
The concrete piers are huge and portray the magnitude of construction and the task of building across the Tarn Valley. This shows how the bridge is supported and the purpose of the strength, and rigidity of the piers. The bridge shows the load path as well as its members.
A perpendicular look at the bridge shows that the pylons and abutments have identical widths at the deck. The abutments and pylons split and taper out and meet at the deck. A parallel look along the structure reveals a different case with the concrete abutments being wider than the steel pylons. The tapering out of the piers creates a good proportion with the outside of piers remaining constant resulting in an increase in the distance between the two halves with the rise. The joint between the piers and the deck is well proportioned particularly with the wind barrier giving increase depth to the deck.
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Despite being the tallest bridge in the world, the bridge looks simple. Repetition of the pylons across the bridge appears easy by sight at the constant height at which the piers split. The span between the piers is equal just to the effective spans between cables. Good continuity is reflected in the way the piers and pylons flow as one upon reaching the deck.
The aspect ratio of rectangles between the ground, piers, and deck must be kept constant when crossing a valley. This is not the case for the bridge since it would need differing spans between the piers resulting in a different number of cables supporting the deck between each pier. Such a scenario would not make the bridge look good. It would also mean that the pylons differ in height for the constant spacing of cable anchorage at the deck. A longitudinal look along the bridge gives an appearance of piers of equal thickness to pylons.