New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia

February 23, 2012 by staff 

New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia, The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge 3,030 feet (924 m) long over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. With an arch 1,700 feet (518 m) long, the New River Gorge Bridge was for many years the world’s longest arch bridge; it is now the third longest. Part of U.S. Route 19, its construction marked the completion of Corridor L of the Appalachian Development Highway System. The bridge is crossed by an average of 16,200 motor vehicles per day.

The roadway of the New River Gorge Bridge is 876 feet (267 m) above the New River, making it the fifth highest vehicular bridge in the world, and the third highest in the Americas (behind the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada, bypassing the Hoover Dam, and the Royal Gorge Bridge). When it opened in 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge was the highest vehicular bridge in the world, a record it kept until the 2004 opening of the Millau Viaduct in France. Several suspension bridges in China have since surpassed both of these bridges in height, with the current record holder being the Si Du River Bridge which opened in November 2009, with 1,549 feet (472 m) of clearance above the Si Du River.

In 2005, the structure was further immortalized when a depiction of the span was placed on the West Virginia state quarter.

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