New River Gorge Bridge


To cross the New River gorge before the mid-1970s, you had to take long detours or wind down narrow mountain roads. That all ended with the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge on October 22, 1977. This creation of engineering design reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across a river to less than one minute. Arching over the New River, the bridge has the world's longest single arch steel span and is the second highest bridge in the U.S., standing 876 feet high. (In first place: The Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado.) Constructed of rust-colored Cor-ten steel, the bridge never needs painting.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The third Saturday in October each year, parachutists get official permission to jump off the nearly 900-foot-high bridge to the rapids below. It's all part of the Bridge Day festival, and some 200,000 people show up to watch.
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