2 January 2020
Viaduc Fond Lahaye
groupement Egis/Lavigne Cheron architectes
This structure is a true challenge for the engineers involved. Located on the sea front between two cliffs, it will cross an opening roughly 360 m wide without any intermediate support, at a height of roughly 25 metres. It will be subjected to severe environmental conditions and considerable natural risks (high risk of earthquakes, cyclonic winds and swell…).

The Martinique Local Authority has decided to relieve the northern coast from its isolation by building an iconic viaduct crossing the Fond Lahaye valley. This project located in an exceptional environment and subject to numerous constraints requires many different advanced skills.

Cerema tendered successfully for the contract with the CTM, to provide assistance and advice during all of this project’s design phases, from the choice of the winning project to approval of the definition studies. The CTM was particularly interested in the broad spectrum of technical skills that Cerema has to offer. The team in charge of the project comprises geo-technical engineers, hydraulics engineers, specialists in the environment, acoustics, projects and road safety, and of course experts in calculating and designing structures, earthquake engineering, materials, etc.

The CTM launched a project management competition based on submission of a preliminary design. A short-list was then drawn up of three candidates who were selected to draw up solutions.

The “Egis/Lavigne Cheron architectes” group won the project management competition with a suspension bridge 380 m long incorporating sloping towers roughly 30 m high at the top of the cliffs. The deck is a metal box section 26 m wide providing for 2x2 lane traffic, as well as a promenade for pedestrians and cyclists overlooking the sea. The project includes a system for lighting the structure, to showcase this crossing which will be an art-work.

Technical aspects play a key role, since the structure will be subject to the most severe cyclones. Wind tunnel tests will be performed on a mock-up of the structure, to better assess its behaviour in cyclonic winds and to make sure it is dimensioned correctly. Support from Cerema’s specialists for modelling the effects wind has on structures is a key asset to guarantee this viaduct’s reliability.