|Pont de Normandie, France|
The Pont de Normandie is a cable-stayed road bridge that spans the river Seine linking Le Havre to Honfleur in Normandy, northern France. Its total length is 2,143.21 metres (7,032 ft) – 856 metres (2,808 ft) between the two piers. 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.
The bridge was designed by Michel Virlogeux. 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 the bridge was both the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, and had the record for the longest distance between piers for any cable-stayed bridge. It was more than 250 metres (820 ft) 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 bridge had cost $465 million and was financed by Natixis.
The cable-stayed design was chosen because it was both cheaper and more resistant to high winds than a suspension bridge.