The Pont Saint Nazaire bridge!

So telling you about all the wonderful monuments, sigths of my belle France why not a bridge! The road warrior in me has passed on several and some keeps for a memorable souvenir. As living close by and enjoying the coastal routes of the Loire Atlantique dept 44 in the Pays de la Loire region and formerly Bretagne this bridge has been taken often.

And as usual just briefly mentioned before, feel needs its own post in my blog for the souvenirs of family trips. Therefore, here is my take even if a bit technical on the Pont Saint Nazaire.

The Pont Saint-Nazaire bridge is a cable-stayed multi-cable bridge that spans the Loire estuary and connects the city of Saint-Nazaire to the district of Penhoët, via the town of Montoir-de-Bretagne where the bridge takes actually footing on the right bank to the north, at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins on the left bank to the south. The bridge, supporting the Route Bleu D 213,and was inaugurated on October 18, 1975. The name Pont de Saint-Nazaire is a common name, this bridge has no official name. One of the prettiest car ride you can make along the route bleu D213 over the bridge!

St Nazaire

The Pont Saint Nazaire was given its first stone on November 4, 1971, the works really began in March 1972 and after three years of construction, the bridge is put into service, on October 18, 1975. It has a central span of 404 meters, the structure 720 meters metal bridge holds the world span record for a cable-stayed metal bridge during its construction for eight years. Access to the bridge becomes free by removing the toll, October 1, 1994, sixteen years before the scheduled date!

As an amateur of architecture let me translate some technical information on the bridge for you and me.

The structure consists of two pre stressed concrete access viaducts, 1,115 meters to the north and 1,521 meters to the south, and a main metallic cable-stayed structure 720 meters long. It is taken by the Route Bleu D213. The construction of the bridge is entrusted to a group of companies for its metal construction and concrete structures.  Independent viaduct with pre stressed beams: 22 spans to the north and 30 spans to the south, with a span of 50.70 meters; 208 pre stressed beams 2.80 m high and 190 tons; a slab width of 13.5 meters between railings offering 12 meters of roll able width (used in 3 lanes), and two service passages of 0.75 meter; and longitudinal slopes of 5.6%.. Manufacture of beams on the ground, then transport by dunnage, and launching by means of a metal launcher allowing transverse shifting. A cable-stayed metal box 720 meters long and 3.20 meters high, in 3 spans of 158 meters, 404 meters and 158 meters, with an orthotropic slab 15 meters wide; A draft of 61 meters above the lowest water, 300 meters wide; 72 shrouds, in 4 fan plies, attached to two inverted V metal pylons, articulated at the bottom, and whose head is located substantially 130 meters above the lowest water level.

St Nazaire

The manufacture of the two 96 meters sections of each shore span, supplied by sea from the Fos factory, through the Strait of Gibraltar; assembly on two barges of each shore span 192 meters long with 34 meters overhang in central span; hoisting of the assembled box and of each coated pylon, by racks and jacks; lifting of pylons; successive hoists in the central span of the 16 meters sections and setting up and adjusting the advancement of the shrouds; keying. The current piles (52, not including 2 abutments) consist of two H-shaped drums from 3 meters to 57 meters in height, resting on a base based on four piles of 1.80 meters or 1.50 meters in diameter. Two main piers on either side of the channel are hollow and formed of four vertical cells based on a group of 18 piles 1.80 meters in diameter. The set of reinforced concrete piles, cased and anchored to the rock , vary in length from 15 to 50 meters. The piers were built by sliding formwork.

st nazaire

The speed is limited to 70 km / h, two section radars have been in service since 2012, the measurement is made at the front of the vehicles approaching in a north-south direction and at the rear of the vehicles moving away in the south-north direction.  Strictly enforce! and so far clean for me no tickets! The circulation can be prohibited with certain vehicles, even with all, by strong wind from 80 km / h for all the vehicles towing a trailer and the 2 wheels motorized or not. In order to offer an alternative crossing mode to the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists during the summer period (from May to September, the Loire Atlantique department offers a free shuttle with trailer which allows crossing the structure in complete safety. The only regular bus lines using the bridge and ensuring intercity connections between Saint-Nazaire and the country of Retz, are those of the Aléop network on lines 315, 316 and 317. Line 317 vehicles are equipped with spaces reserved for eight bikes.

St Nazaire

The Pont Saint Nazaire has been crossed by the Tour de France in 1993,1997,1999, 2000 and 2011!!!.

Some webpages to help you plan your passing by here and it is recommended by yours truly.

Inforoute traffic information on the Saint Nazaire bridge is a must before you go by it, here in French: Inforoutes Loire Atlantique dept 44 on Pont Saint Nazaire

Information on the Pont Saint Nazaire from the town of St Brévin-les-Pins in French: City of St Brévin les Pins on the pont Saint Nazaire

An older article on the local newspaper Saint Nazaire News in French but with a beautiful picture of the pont Saint Nazaire bridge me think.. Saint Nazaire News on windy conditions at Pont Nazaire

And the tourist office of Saint Nazaire on the Pont Saint Nazaire in English: Tourist office of Saint Nazaire on the Pont St Nazaire

And there you go another happy motoring ride in beautiful Loire Atlantique dept 44 old Brittany now Pays de la Loire and along the Atlantic ocean coast of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the ride on the pont Saint Nazaire.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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