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Great American Infrastructure: The New River Gorge Bridge

Posted by Infra on Thursday, November 24th, 2011

This is the eighth in a series of entries celebrating infrastructure achievements in the United States.


What: The New River Gorge Bridge, the world’s longest spanning, steel single-arch bridge.

When: Construction was complete on the bridge on October 22, 1977.

Why: The New River Gorge Bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across one of North America’s oldest rivers to less than a minute.

– Length: 4, 224 ft.
– Height: 876 ft.


Interesting facts: The New River Gorge Bridge was once chosen to represent the state of West Virginia on a commemorative coin.

The bridge weighs 88 million pounds (That’s heavier than 4,000 elephants!)

Once a year. West Virginia’s largest one day festival is held to celebrate the bridge (and surrounding the gorge).  On “Bridge Day“, visitors can white-water raft under the bridge, BASE jump from it, and participate in many other activities.


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