Books

Tauriac-de-Naucelle. Paul Bodin’s “other” viaducts and bridges presented by Max Assié

Tauriac-de-Naucelle. Paul Bodin’s “other” viaducts and bridges presented by Max Assié

On the occasion of the publication of his latest book “Le Viaduc du Viaur et Paul Bodin”, Max Assié was invited to Saint-Martial last Friday (25/11/22). A one-hour conference in the village hall where the author discussed his work, but also those built by Paul Bodin abroad, in Russia (Saint Petersburg and La Trinité), in Greece (the Assopos viaduct) and in China (the one from Fau Nanti). In this 9th paper, he evokes the history of the construction of the Viaduct, which required 7 years of work (1896 to 1902).

Using a large number of archival photographs from the department of Ponts et Chaussées, Patrice Géniez and André Bec (Resource Center Naucellois), he traces the different phases of this construction, explaining in detail the innovative technique of the past, that of “articulated arches”. A very complete book about the biography of Paul Bodin, a native of Albi, where he often returned after his education. The foreword to the book was written by Rolande Azam (former mayor of Tanus, like Max Assié), president of the association Valorisation du Viaduc du Viaur, at the initiative of the conference. After frequently asked questions, where we learned that the story of the driver who was ejected from the machine during the first passage through the Viaduct is a legend. It is also difficult to have an accurate number of deaths on the site.

The sub-prefect of Villefranche-de-Rouergue attended this conference, which gathered more than sixty people. Max Assié, revealed at this conference that the tenth book about the Viaur Valley is being prepared, the date is not yet final, but it should be done during the first half of 2023. Before the traditional dedication of the book, the Mayor of the City reported on the progress of the viaduct’s classification at UNESCO- in, a European project implemented by Germany because the country has fewer pending documents.

The 200-page book is published by Un Autre Reg’Art.

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