Fact Check

The High Road

Does a photograph show a panoramic view of a long, tall bridge?

Published Oct 2, 2005

Claim:   Photograph shows a panoramic view of a long, tall bridge spanning a valley.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Is this for real and where is it if it is?

Click to enlarge

Origins:   The image displayed above appears to be a panoramic view (possibly scanned from a print source such as a newspaper) of the Millau Bridge (formally known as le Viaduc de Millau), the tallest vehicular bridge in the world. Opened in December 2004, the Millau Bridge spans the Tarn River valley in southern France and carries motorists for a 1.6-mile stretch through the Massif Central mountains at a height of 891 feet. The steel-and-concrete bridge is visually distinctive for its streamlined diagonal suspension cables resting on seven pillars, the tallest pillar soaring 1,122 feet high, making it slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower and just a bit shorter than the Empire State Building. (The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado, which hangs 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River, is the world's highest suspension bridge, but it was designed primarily for tourist foot traffic and has only one lane for vehicles.)

The above-displayed image of the Millau Bridge was presumably made sometime in mid-2004, before the structure's completion, as the six red temporary supports put in place during construction are still visible. Here is another mid-2004 view of the structure from a ground-view vantage point:

Millau Bridge

Additional information:

  The Millau Bridge   The Millau Bridge photo album   (The Guardian)

Last updated:   2 October 2005


  Sources Sources:

    Associated Press.   "France Opens World's Tallest Bridge."

    MSNBC.com.   14 December 2004.

    BBC News.   "France 'Completes' Tallest Bridge."

    29 May 2004.

    BBC News.   "France Shows Off Tallest Bridge."

    14 December 2004.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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