About this Famous People
French civil engineer, best known for his role in the construction of the Paris Métro
Source : Yves CASTEL
A native of Uzel in Brittany and son of a notary, he graduated as a civil engineer in 1872 from the Ecole Polytechnique. He began working for the Department of Bridges and Roads at Alencon in 1872. His first assignment was the construction of various railway lines in the Mayenne area. In the course of this work, his left arm was crushed in a construction accident and had to be amputated. He relocated to Paris in 1886. That year, he designed and supervised the construction of aqueducts for the city of Paris, drawing water from the Aube and Loire Rivers. Then, he built a cable railway near the Place de la Republique and created the Buttes-Chaumont Park. In 1891, he became Engineer-in-Chief of Bridges and Roads, the most prestigious engineering post in France.
Paris city officials selected Bienvenue to become chief engineer for the Paris Métro in 1896. He designed a special procedure of building the tunnels to allow the swift repaving of surface roads; this procedure involved (among other things) building the crown of the tunnel first and the flooring last, the reverse of the usual norm at that time. He is credited with a largely swift and relatively uneventful construction through the difficult and heterogenous Parisian soils and rocks. He would supervise Paris Metro construction for more than three decades, finally retiring on 6 December 1932.
Bienvenue's construction of the metro was widely lauded and was described admiringly as a work "worthy of the Romans". Bienvenue eventually accumulated many honors for his engineering accomplishments, including the Grand Prix Berger of the Academy of Arts and Sciences (1909) and the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor (1929).
On 30 June 1933, Avenue du Maine station on the Metro was renamed Bienvenüe in his honor. The naming ceremony took place in his presence; there was a last-minute scramble to repaint the station's new nameboards when it was discovered that the unusual dieresis in his name had been omitted (making the French word for "welcome"). In 1942 the station was linked to the adjacent Montparnasse station, forming a single station named Montparnasse-Bienvenüe.
Source : http://www.wikipedia.org/
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