Before the bridge was built, traffic had to go down into the Tarn River valley and pass along the national route N9 near the town of Millau, causing heavy congestion at the beginning and end of the July and August vacation season. The bridge now crosses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking the Causse du Larzac to the Causse Rouge, and is inside the perimeter of the Grands Causses regional natural park.
The bridge forms the last link of the A75 autoroute, (la Méridienne) from Clermont-Ferrand to Pézenas (to be extended to Béziers by 2010). The A75, with the A10 and A71, provides a continuous high-speed route south from Paris through Clermont-Ferrand to the Languedoc region and through to Spain, considerably reducing the cost of vehicle traffic traveling along this route. Many tourists heading to southern France and Spain follow this route because it is direct and without tolls for the 340 km between Clermont-Ferrand and Pézenas, except for the bridge itself.
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