5 Rare Photos Taken During The New River Gorge Bridge Construction That Will Simply Astound You
One of the most iconic structures in West Virginia is the New River Gorge Bridge. Most of us know the structure in its completed form, but what did it look like as it was being constructed? Below are some rare images captured while it was still being built.
The New River Gorge Bridge, a steel arch bridge, began construction in June of 1974 because the route for motorists to cross the New River involved a four mile drive down to Fayette Station Bridge, then four miles back up the other side. The construction of the bridge turned an long mountain drive into a 35 second skirt across the valley.
Since it was so difficult to get north from the New River, the bridge was sorely needed. A special act of congress convened to make the bridge a possibility.
It took a great deal of planning to build the bridge and get it erected. At the time, it was to be the longest single-span arch bridge in the world. Today, it is the fourth largest.
It took 3 1/2 years to build the structure and thousands of man hours to make the bridge a reality. The roadway was placed an incredible 876 feet above the New River and is 3,030 feet long.
Its construction marked the completion of the Appalachian Development Highway System's Corridor L project, one of several projects that made navigation not only through the state itself, but to other states as well, significantly more convenient.
Today, an average of 16,200 motorists cross the bridge every day. It is also very popular on Bridge Day as the literal jumping off point for extreme athletes who enjoying bungee jumping and BASE jumping off the towering structure.
The New River Gorge Bridge is part of U.S. Route 19, and is located near Fayetteville.
Have you been to the New River Gorge Bridge? Do you remember a time before it was erected? Feel free to comment below and join the discussion.
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