The Pont Charles-de-Gaulle (Charles-de-Gaulle Bridge) is a steel-reinforced concrete girder bridge straddling the river Seine in the eastern part of Paris. It is a one-way bridge carrying road traffic from the 13th arrondissement to the 12th arrondissement. Further downstream, also a one-way bridge, Pont d’Austerlitz carries traffic travelling in the opposite direction.
In 1986, the Council of Paris (Conseil de Paris) decided to construct a new bridge between Pont de Bercy and Pont d’Austerlitz in south-west Paris, which would imitate the design of Pont d’Austerlitz. The aims of this project were to ease the traffic on Pont d’Austerlitz, the most heavily loaded bridge in the capital, to connect the new Bibliothèque nationale de France (also known as the François Mitterrand Library) to the district of Bercy on the Right Bank and to establish a direct link between Gare de Lyon and Gare d’Austerlitz.
A Europe-wide competition was held in 1987 to determine the best project design. At the conclusion of the competition, the laureate concept set forth by Louis Arretche and Roman Karasinski was chosen for the bridge. The rationale for this choice was that it did not detract the aesthetic exterior of Viaduc d’Austerlitz, further downstream; and that it discreetly preserved the view of the river.
The bridge has a single steel deck measuring 270 m long and 35 m wide, and the shape of which resembles an aircraft wing. It is supported by two concrete piers. Linking each pier to the deck are two conical steel frames shaped like upside-down tents.
The bridge roadway (not including footpaths and cycle lanes) measures 18 m in width and allows four lanes of northeast-bound traffic from the Left Bank to the Right Bank. Two cycle lanes to the upstream side of the bridge and two footpaths, one on each side of it, permit unmotorized traffic to cross.