The longest road bridge in Europe -- stretching across the Loire River for approximately 1?????
The longest road bridge in Europe -- stretching across the Loire River for approximately 1???? miles (2???? kilometres) -- was opened to traffic on Wednesday (15 October).
The Pont De Saint-Nazaire now links the industrial towns of St. Nazaire and St. Brevin.
Previously the only way across the Loire for 37???? miles (60 kilometres) on either side of the two towns was by car ferry.
The lack of a direct link seriously impeded industrial development in the area...on both banks of the river.
The two care ferries in use just could not cope with peak hour traffic, and a consistent build up of heavy traffic in the area over the past ten years made it imperative to build a bridge.
A society was formed to collect funds from both the public and private investors. Local authorities gave the society the right to charge tolls to cross the bridge for the next 35 years...to help regain their initial outlay.
The bridge was built with two viaducts stretching across the river and cost a total of 229 million francs (22.9 million pounds sterling) to complete.
It took 18,000 tonnes of steel and 70,000 cubic metres of concrete to build the impressive span.
Its construction created employment opportunities in the area local authorities believe it will play a major role in future development.