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Pont d'Arcole

Pont d'Arcole

As early as the 18th century, the need was felt to create a link between the Place de Grve (now the Place de l'Htel de Ville) and the Ile de la Cit, but a pedestrian footbridge was only built in 1828. It was a two-span suspended bridge, resting on a central pier in the Seine.
In 1854, the Administration decided to replace this pedestrian bridge with a true traffic bridge able to handle the growth in road traffic and the significant developments in Parisian town planning, including the extension of the Rue de Rivoli. Two projects were competing: that of the Administration - which comprised three stone arches and another - proposed by Mr OUDRY (retired engineer) - presented by the Compagnie des Ponts.
The second proposal was chosen. It consisted of a metal structure with a single very depressed arch, with a span of 80 m.CADIAT's innovation was not however risk-free and the arches were so thin at the crown that on 16th February 1888, the bridge suddenly sagged by 20 cm. The structure had to be strengthened by adding two additional trusses, removing the longitudinal girder anchors from the abutments and lightening the deck. The last significant change, when the Georges-Pompidou expressway was built, was to hollow out the right bank abutment to let the roadway through.
Between 1994 and 1995, the Paris authorities completely renovated the deck and took the opportunity to reseal the bridge, replace worn or corroded metal parts and entirely repaint the structure.
As for the origin of the name, historians disagree. The most commonly accepted opinion is the celebration of the victory at Arcole won by Napoleon Bonaparte over the Austrians in 1796.
It is worth mentioning that when Paris was liberated in August 1944, the first members of Leclerc's 2nd armoured division reached the Place de L'Htel de Ville across the Pont d'Arcole.




CADIAT, engineer

Construction date


Total length
80 m

Usable width
20 m: 12 m roadway, two pavements of 4 m

Construction principles

An 80 m span arch comprising fourteen variable inertia metal arches
Reinforced concrete deck connected to the upper chords of the arches.

Four angular keystones at the ends of the bridge.


Quai de Gesvres
Place du Parvis Notre Dame
75001 Paris

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mise à jour le : 18 décembre 2013
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