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DOWNRIVER BRIDGES

Pont d'lena

Pont de Bir-Hakeim

Pont Rouelle

Pont de Grenelle

Pont Mirabeau

Pont du Garigliano

Pont Aval

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Petit d'lena

Current bridge opened in 1853

The Pont d’léna is the gateway to the Eiffel Tower, which it connects to the Trocadéro on the Right Bank. La Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower, was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years, surpassing the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. It lost this distinction in 1930 to New York’s Chrysler Building, which was itself surpassed by the Empire State Building less than a year later.

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Pont de Bir-Hakeim

Current bridge opened in 1905

The current bridge was first named the Viaduc de Passy. In 1948, it was renamed to honor the Battle of Bir-Hakeim, where Free French troops in 1942 earned their first major victory of WWII in the Libyan desert. It is a double-decker metal bridge with a viaduct on top to carry Métro Line 6 which takes a semi-circular route through the southern reaches of Paris, crossing the Pont de Bercy upriver on the city’s eastern side. The walkway on the bridge’s lower deck is framed by a colonnade and street lights that illuminate and emphasize its Art Nouveau style.

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Pont Rouelle

Current bridge opened in 1900

The Pont Rouelle is a railway bridge that carries passengers across the Seine on the Réseau Express Régional (RER), the commuter counterpart to the urban Métro. Like its neighbor, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim upriver to the north, the Pont Rouelle was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. It connected the railway station at the Champ de Mars, the site where the exposition was held, to the Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture (“Little Belt Railway”) then circling the city.

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Pont Grenelle

Current bridge opened in 1968

The Pont de Grenelle crosses the downriver tip of the man- made island, Île aux Cygnes. It consists of two steel crossings spanning each branch of the Seine and two concrete spans over motor expressways on the Left and Right Banks. On the island, a concrete walkway joins the bridge to the southeast tip of the Allée des Cygnes footpath, which runs the length of the island. The statue “Liberty Enlightening the World” stands next to the bridge on the downriver tip of the Île aux Cygnes.

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Pont Mirabeau

Current bridge opened in 1897

Rarely visited by tourists, the vibrant Pont Mirabeau is made of steel, fashioned in beautiful Art Nouveau style, named after an ugly hero, and adorned, like so many Parisian bridges, with neo-classical allegorical sculptures. The beloved poem “Le Pont Mirabeau,” written by Guillaume Apollinaire, was first published in 1912, fifteen years after the bridge’s 1897 dedication. A plaque inscribed with the poem’s first stanza is to be found on the bridge.

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Pont du Garigliano

Current bridge opened in 1966

The current Pont du Garigliano was designed in the same sleek style as the Pont Saint-Louis, allowing the classic, historic beauty of the old villages nearby to draw the viewer’s attention. Constructed of steel and pre-stressed concrete, it stands on four tall piers, the highest bridge in Paris. It is now part of the Boulevards des Maréchaux, the chain of commuter highways circling outer Paris, and is busier today than at any time in its history.

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Pont Aval

Current bridge opened in 1968

Aval means “downriver.” The Pont Aval is the last downriver bridge in the city of Paris, and is part of the Boulevard Périphérique, a controlled-access motor expressway circling the city. The Boulevard Périphérique acts like a wall between the city and its suburbs, and was built along the glacis, the wide, sloping area in front of the old Thiers Wall. Built of steel and pre-stressed concrete, it crosses the river at an angle and is consequently the longest bridge in the city.

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