The Pont Normandie opened for business on January 20, 1995. At the time, it was the largest cable-stayed bridge in the world at over 2,000 meters long, a record it held for nine years. The upside-down Y pylons were made of 20,000 tons of concrete and are over 700 feet tall. It took 7 years to build and cost $465 million. It’s a four lane bridge with an additional two lanes for pedestrians. The bridge spans the Seine and connects Le Havre to Honfleur.
Honfleur itself is a real charmer. If you haven’t visited this corner of Normandy yet, you should make a point of checking it out. I took these pictures in a visit to this lovely town in 2008. I took a boat ride out to see the massive bridge close-up and climbed to a scenic overlook to see it from far away. Both from near and far, the Pont Normandie is an impressive sight.
Today’s expression, couper les ponts (koopay lay pohn) literally means “to cut the bridges.” Figuratively it means to cut off relations with someone, particularly after a betrayal. We all know that bridges are vulnerable in times of war, and those in Normandy took a real pounding during World War II. Le Havre was flattened and Honfleur was spared. So much beauty wasted.