The President of the Savoie Department, Hervé Gaymard, the President of the Ain Department, Jean Deguerry, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) and local elected officials inaugurated Friday 17 September 2021 the new footbridge over the Rhône river located at the junction of the Ain and Savoie Departments at Virignin and La Balme, in France.Download the press release
Throughout the summer, cyclists, pedestrians and users of soft mobility were able to use the structure, which offers a continuity to the ViaRhôna cycle route. Both safe and respectful of the natural issues of the sector, the footbridge is a strong point of tourist attraction. It was financed by the Department of Savoie, the Department of Ain, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR).
This new infrastructure of the ViaRhôna was built by the MND, a French specialist in cable mobility, snowmaking systems, mountain safety and sensational leisure infrastructures. It is a flexible footbridge that spans the Rhône river. It is 2.20 m wide, with a span of 170 m without intermediate support, with a navigation gauge that allows an air draft of 4.50 m high and 16 m wide in the river axis. Its construction and integration were a real technical challenge in a Natura 2000 zone near the Pierre-Châtel gorge, a sensitive natural area, and every care was taken to respect the site’s heritage issues. The Savoie Department was responsible for the project. The design, manufacture and installation were carried out by the MND teams at its site in Savoie, 50 km from the footbridge.
The French industrial group MND carried out this work as the leader of a grouping of complementary expertise with the co-contractors MBTM assembly company and the design office Cabinet ERIC. BM Engineering was responsible for the project management.
About the ViaRhôna
The ViaRhôna stretches over 815 km between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean. The ViaRhôna is now one of the main European cycle routes used by more than one million cyclists each year, 18% of whom are tourists*. The ViaRhôna is included in the national cycle route plan. The densitý of the population along the route is very high. This population uses it daily to go on day trips on the ViaRhôna in the vicinitý, to use it for everyday travel, to get out of the urban environment in safetý but also to go on itinerant hikes from their homes.
*Source: ViaRhôna visitor study 2017