Mont-Saint-Michel footbridge opens

Mont-Saint-Michel

Ambitious plan to restore World Heritage Site to its ancient island glory moves a step closer to reality

MONT-SAINT-MICHEL is a step closer to being an island again after a pedstrian bridge opened to the public.

The 760m bridge from the coastline of northern France to the World Heritage Site opened yesterday, 19 years after the government decided to restore the historic venue to its ancient island glory.

An existing causeway connecting the island to the mainland had stood for 135 years but had caused a build-up of silt around Mont-Saint-Michel.

The curving walkway was designed by Austrian architect Dietmar Feichtinger and has been built on stilts to allow currents to flow around the island and prevent the build-up of silt.

It has also been designed to flood a few times a year to help the sea wash away any silt that does build up.

Although the government decision was made nearly two decades ago, work did not start until 2005, and has cost a total €190m.

The final stage of the project will see the destruction of the causeway to allow the sea to completely surround the historic site again for the first time in more than a century.

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