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NORMANDY BRIDGE

Wednesday 10 October 2001

Untill 1959 ROUEN was nearest bridge. Ortherwise to cross the Seine you had to use ferries.
In 1959 Tancarville bridge was built.
With Technical developments it became feasable to build a bigger bridge nearer the mouth of the Seine. The Normandy bridge just 8 miles from Le Havre, was paid for (in part) by Le Havre, the project was opposed by ROUEN who feared that Le Havre would expand across the bridge.

Tancarville is a Suspension Bridge
Normandy bridge is a Stay bridge

A suspension bridge has two towers over which are draped two cables anchored into the ground. From these cables is suspended the road way.
A stay bridge has two towers from which the road is added to on each side of the towers to maintain equilibrium. each section of road is surported by a stay to the tower. The bridge is completed when the road joins in the middle.

NORMANDY BRIDGE
Length 1 1/3 miles long Longest stay bridge in the world.
Span half a mile.
200 ft high
184 STAYS

Pylons aren’t parallel
Road is in the form of wing upside down, so when the wind blows the road is pushed downwards to keep it steady.

This type of bridge was chosen as piles in the river would lead to silting up and be a danger to shipping. Hence single span.

When the motorway project is complete this will be part of roadway from London to Spain

8000 vehicles a day.

Wetlands by bridge
Reproduced by dredging and reflooding the marshes.
The grassland kept in check by Camargue Horses.

image 319 x 425

VAST BRIDGE
OPENING NEW HORIZONS
The project developed out of a political determination on the part of dynamic local authorities to provide Normandy with a performing communication network to cater for the needs of the twenty-first century.
In the light of its success with the Tancarville bridge, the French Government decided once again, in 1986, to entrust the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Le Havre with a concession for a second crossing over the Seine estuary; this time near Honfleur. With no support under the state budget, the financing scheme is based on financial surpluses from the Tancarville Bridge as well as loans.

A MERGING OF WILLPOWERS SIZEABLE FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL SUPPORT
Very quickly, in 1987, the members of the Seine Maritime County Council. of the Haute Normandie Regional Council, of the Calvados County Council and of the Eure County Council voted their financial and political support of the project 19 regional, national and foreign financial bodies got together to cover the financial requirements (2,1 billions French Francs) to build the Normandy Bridge. The amounts lent will reembursed by the revenue collected through tolls. Through their financial support, the local authorities guarantee the whole of the contracted loans. The Normandy Bridge was be opened for service during the winter of 1994 - 1995.

A BRIEF HISTORY QF THE ESTUARY’S CROSSINGS
THE FIRST EXCHANGES
During prehistoric times, the River SEINE estuary was mainly inhabited on the Northern bank and presented an impassable barrier The Norman conquest and tile creation of the Duchy of Normandy around 911 AD gave a certain unity to the estuary and tolls were introduced for those wishing to pass from one bank to the othen During the 14th and 15th centuries, the number of crossings increased, bringing with them a source of income which led to fighting between the local lords The word ferry started to appear in the texts.

THE BIRTH OF A HARBOUR CITY, LE HAVRE
Built by Du CHillou and his staff, all from Honfleur, at the request of King François 1st the City and Harbour of le Havre established close bonds with Honfleur.
So-called ‘passenger sailing boats transported both cargo and people. The inhabitants of Le Havre at the time came mainly from the Southern part of the estuary. Thanks to the passsenger boats they found in Le Havre a source of employment and also a market for their products

STEAMERS ON THE RIVER SEINE BOUND FOR HONFLEUR, TROUVILLE AND LE HAVRE.
On Novernber 9, 1820, the commissioning of steamers brought a new dimension to the exchanges between the banks. It took no more than 30 to 40 minutes to sail from be Havre to Honfleur and Trouville compared with 2 to 6 hours by sailboat The Southern bank became a place of excursion for the inhabitants of the Northern bank; Then in l847 the arrival off the railroad in Le Havre opened the Coast of Grace to thc Parisians. Because of its steamboats, le Harvre was at last truly a part of Normandy The Havre traders refused to close shop on Sundays because the people from Honfleur and Trouville used to sail across to do their shopping on that day.

WHILST AWAITING A TUNNEL:
THE FERRY

Around 1871, the railroad was developing at full speed and the idea of crossing the Seine by a means other than by ship became a veritable obsession- The idea of creating a railroad to the south west was launched. But where and how was it to cross the river? By bridge or by tunnel? The problem was not solved yet! Studies were carried out and after 50 years of disscussions! the Cbarnbers of comrnerce of Le Havre and Rouen, the Seine Ferry Company and the State decided, in 1921, to install a temporary ferry upstream from Quillebueuf, whilst awaiting the construction of a tunnel Meanwhile transportation by lorry and car was developing at a tremendous rate; the project therefore had to be fully reviewed.
In 1932 tbe Hode Bervflle ferry was brought into operation. In the first year it carried almost 80 000 vehicles Such a success generated endless queues.

AT LAST, THE TANCARVILLE BRIDGE
In 1935, a bridge project was under discussion and Tancarville selected as the best 1ocation Access works started in 1939 but were interrupted by World War II. In 1951, the government and parliament entrusted the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Le Havre with the task of building the Tancarville bridge and operating it over a period of 75 years.
On the economic and financial levels the decision to build this structure with loans secured by the future toll revenue started the era of large toll infrastructures
On July 2, 1959, Minister Robert Euron inaugurated what was then Europe’s largest suspension bridge.
More than thirty years after its inauguration, the Tancarville bridge was doing fine But the continuous increase in traffic, proving how judicious an investment it was, was posing problems of capacity at the rush hours In addition the distance by road between Honfleur and le Havre was still 55 km, Le Havres only modern infrastructure connection was oriented towards Pari, yet the destiny of the Le Hayre port was national and international.
TilE TANCARVILLE BRIDGE TO THE NORMANDY

AN AGE OLD DREAM COMING TRUE-..
At all tlmes, man has challenged the natural elements... Higher longer, faster .- and the River Seine estuary is no exception to the rule. The idea of buillding a bridge there appealed to the imagination more than a hundred years ago. Up until the seventies, the only reliable solution to link points wide apart was the suspension bridge

A TRIED AND TESTED TECHNIQUE
Based on a two carrier cables, bearing and distributing the whole weight of the deck on pylons and anchorage devices at the ends, this technique has given full proof of its worth and undeniable durability.
To build the Tancarville bridge, one had to find a favourable site, near Le Havre, where the distance between the two banks remained reasonable and offered sufficient relief to do away with at least one access viaduct and one anchorage point. The selected site met these requirements as the River flows here at the foot of the cliff
Tancarvfle bridge, the biggest in Europe at the the, has long been considered a reference of French technological and technical know-how-

A TECHNOLOGICAL LEAP FORWARD
The Noranandy bridge had to be built nearest to the river month in order to usefully relieve
the Tancarville bridge and open Western France to trafic. At this place, the natural elements are uncommonly forcefull. Swept by strong winds, this large area of alluvial terrain offers no natural anchorage point on its surface.
So as not to impede shipping traffic, the 856 meters of the channel’s width had to be crossed in a single span 52 metres above the highest water levels Building a pier in the navigable part of the river ran the risk of causing a builid up of sand. In the light of an these parameters, the cable stayed bridge offers the best technical and economical solution.

A WELL BALANCED STRUCTURE
Providing better wind stabilly and workng out cheaper than a suspension bridge, the cable stayed bridge is designed like two huge scales the axes of which are the towers The cable plys bear the weight of the deck and transfer it to the towers and to the laterals viaducts on each side. This system saves using the huge anchorage blocks.
The cost of installing and maintaining the cable system is considerably reduced. Each staying cable may be removed individually without interrupting traffic.
The Normandy bridge, with its 856 metres central span holds the world record in its caregory. A technological leap forward made possible by the huge advances in Computer calculation Systems.

FOLLOW THE ROAD OF THE ESTUARIES

A NEW GEOGRAPHIC SPACE
From 1995 on, the opening of the Normandy bridge should create a movement specific to both banks in a new geographic space. High technology activities, suported by the proximity of the industry-harbour complex and the presence of excellent living conditions, will be able to develop. Major university, hospital and trade facilities of Le hvare conurbation will be onlu a few minutes away from the Pays d’Auge area and l’Eure.

THE SAME DISTANCE AS THE CROW FLIES
Directly linked Northbound with the A131 motorway; Le Havre Tancarville; bridge serving the centre of the production industry and harbour area of Le Havre will provide a link motorway accessing the county roads of the Eure and Calvados counties and connect up with the A28 motorway. The Normandy bridge will take its users from one bank to the other in less than 10 minutes;
thus gaining almost 30 minutes travel time, Modern toll collection devices will be made availlable to the 8000 vehicles/day that are expected by the turn of the century.

WHAT THE NEW CROSSING MEANS
Beyond its regional impact, the Normandy bridge brings the entire Normandy region into a favourable position at the European leveL The motorway project, termed The Road of the Estuanes" will provide motorway confinuity to Northern Europe (UK and Nordic Countries) and to South-Western Europe (Spain and Portugal) and do away with the need to transit via Paris. Within the competitive environment of theNorhern European harbours, the Normandy bridge offers the international port of Le Havre a better service and strengthens its international position.
The Normandy bridge will become the symbol of a new economic and human place that will be born in and around the estuary.

THE BRIDGE AND THE WIND

THE CENTURY WIND
Th Seine estuary is regularly swept by prevailing West and South westerly winds, with blasts up to 180 Km /h in the past. The average wind blowing for several minutes in succession would generate swinging in the structure and in addition powerful gusts lasting just a few seconds create further turbulance.
With concern for safety, the engineers have included in their calculations exteme elements that are more than twice those of the century wind.

CLEVER WAYS OF USING WIND TO ADVANTAGE

All strutural decisions reached for tyhe Normandy bridge aim at reducing the action of the wind through better aerodynamics. The streamlined deck has been subject to a long sereis of tests in a wind tunnel. Contrary to an aircraft wing that uses air masses to gain altitude, the deck of the bridge uses wind to improve it’s stability. To prevent the cables from striking against one another, a system of transverse cables, caled damping ropes attenuates and reduces their movements.
The arrangement is completed by dampers located at the base of each cable

IF THE WIND BLOWS ON THE CQNSTBIICTIOIU SITE

Before being keyed together, fhe two parts of the deck will be left free over the Seine over a distance of up to 425 metres on each side, To reduce structure displacements (up to 7 or 8 metres under storm conditions) and prevent damage, a unique system of tune mass damper has been specially designed for tile Normandy bridge.

LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE, TflE WIND WILL BLOW ON THE BRIDGE DECK
The different tests run indicated that the niaximurn range of deck swinging will be 1.40 metres at the key and O’20 metre at the top of the pylons. These movements are very minm­al compared to the size of the structure. Everything has been studied for the com­fort and the safety of the user. As in other similar places, vehicles that are sensitive to wind will be directed away from the bridge on stormy days.

THE BRIDGE AND THE ESTUARY
MAKING BEST USE OF THE RENOWN OF THE BRIDGE

A handsome yet : unobtrusive bridge was needed to integrate into this remarkable estuary site. Its design and The organisation of the different operations take into account ecOlogiCal charact& riStiCs especially on the right bank of the river, in the mud flats- But, and this is even more re­markable, the Normandy bridge, proving its worth as a good neighbour, has initiated further experimental measures, not strictly related to the stuicture to safeguard, maintain and display this extraordinary natural site.
Since the start of the works, an ecology engineer has been taking visitors from the pubic around he estuary contracted reservation pointing on its originality arid its specific feature.. All these measures, amounting to a total 10 million French Francs, are the first of their kind in Europe and a precedent that Wi]] be stand as a reference for similar projects.

TflE ESTUARY, A FUNDAMENTAL ROLE FOR THE ECOSYSTEM

The biological yield ot an estuary is Ten times that of the ocean MILIEUV and twice That of a forest . This water mixing zone" receives a large nun;ber of ollutants (heavy metals mercury, cadmium)) from the Seine (a third of the industrial and agriculturi activity of France and 15 million inhabitants). Under such conditions, the mud flats operate like a mighty purification plant.

A VITAL SPACE
A veritable larder for estuary birds and fishes, the mud flats shelter shrimp, sole, bass and turbot nurserics.. Limicolous birds from all over Europe spend winter there. Their numbers, however, are diminishing rapidly The natural phenomenon of sedimentation, amplified by man,leads to a reduction of the mud flats and marshland

24 HECTARES of EXPERIMENTAL WETLANDS
Dredged and re-flooded wetlands have been created which are satisfying on the biological level Although still modest in acreage, they have the great advantage of providing information unique in Europe in die field of "ecological en­gineering.

CAMARGUE HORSES
TO SAVE THE MARSHES

Wetlands need to be maintained or they lose their ecological value.
Each year the reedbed gains surface area, retaining the sedimentation. To check this process, Camargue horses have been brought in to replace the wild animals that disappeared long ago. Reeds, willows and elders give way to their fierce appetite arid the stamping of their hooves The results of this experiment are very encouraging; it has been possible to transform a large part Of the reedbed into wet pastureland more favourable to numerous species.

ONE OF FRANCE’S LARGEST JOBSITE

The Normandy bridge is one of France’s largest jobsites. In 1992, 500 people, 60% from the region itself, representing all professions, worked on the three jobsites (North bank, South bank and the Radicatel workshop where the steel deck sections are being rnanufactured). All in all, including tile design offices, suppliers’ and subcontractors’ staff, the Normandy bridge has supplied work for more than 1000 People. The local economy has benefited from many of the orders (350 million Francs by end 92). The sectors more directly involved am indugtry trade, hotel industry and catering.

A DIRECTOR AT THE SERVICE
OF ALL PARTNERS
To co-ordinate the activities of the men and the contractors, the project management orchestrates the studies and the works on behalf the owner since 1988, assisted by design offices and laboratories, public and private. As author of the first design studies for the bridge. it supervises the scheduling and of the work stages, as far concerns the concrete and metal contractors. It checks the reliability of the methods set up by the contractors, thus ensuring the quality of the construction,

THE EXAMPLE OF A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT
For every partner, management, engineering agencies and contractors alike the Normandy bridge is a reference for the whole world, vouching for French know-how and expertise in the field of civil engineering

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