Viaduc de la Savoureuse

Montbéliard, France

Part of the Rhin-Rhône high-speed train link, the Viaduct de la Savoureuse crosses the Savoureuse valley between Montbéliard and Belfort. The project covers a 1,300m length of the line, comprising not only the 800m long viaduct itself, but also a stretch of earthworks along the west bank of the valley. Despite the substantial structural demands made by trains travelling at high speeds, the design places the necessary infrastructure across the site as sensitively as possible, creating a coherent and unified whole. The design challenge for the viaduct was to ensure it appeared as elegant as possible, and has therefore been designed with a simple, rhythmic structure.

The scheme is arranged as a series of steel portal frames. Lateral girders span between these parallel frames and support the deck to create a slim, elegant profile. Tetrapod piles – each composed as a pair of V-shaped supports shaped in both transverse and longitudinal directions – support the viaduct and bear down onto tapered concrete pads, which are used to account for changes in the natural ground level across the valley.