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About the Bridge:

For years crossing the New River gorge meant long detours, and carefully winding your way down narrow mountain roads. It was not until the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge on October 22, 1977, that this travel problem was solved. However, the solution was not an easy one. Many technical problems had to be overcome. The Bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across one of America's oldest rivers to less than one minute.

The West Virginia Department of Highways, which owns the bridge, chose the Michael Baker Company to do the design. The construction contract was awarded to the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel.

In June, 1974, the first steel was positioned over the gorge by trolleys running on 3" diameter cables. The cables were strung 3,500 feet between matching pairs of 330-foot towers located on each side of the gorge. Cor-ten steel, with its rust-like appearance that never needs painting, was used in the construction of the bridge.

Arching gracefully across the New River, the Bridge has the world's 3nd longest single arch steel span. At 876 feet above the New River, it is the third highest bridge in this country. The Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado is higher.

Construction Began

June 1974

Completion October 22, 1977
Height 876 feet
Bridge Length 3,030 feet
Arch Length 1,700 feet
Rise 360 feet
Final Cost $37,000,000
Bid Price $33,984,000
Weight 88,000,000 lbs.
Deck Width 69 feet