The New River Gorge Bridge is a marvel. Iconic in size, massive in scope, impressive from any angle, the bridge has become a famous landmark recognized by people around the world.
Here are some facts about the bridge…
- The idea for the bridge began formally in 1967 as a study for the department of highways.
- The road beneath the bridge was once called the Gentry road and is now named the Fayette Station road. It was built in 1909. Before the bridge, it was a 30 minute trip down one side of the gorge and up the other. It takes about 30 seconds to cross the bridge.
- The Fayette Station crosses the Tunney Hunsacker Bridge, which was the first bridge for automobiles to cross the new river in the Gorge.
- Construction crews from the engineering firm of Michael Baker, Jr. broke ground for the bridge in 1973.
- The bridge was opened to the public on October 22, 1976. At the time, it was the longest single arch bridge in the world at 3030 feet.
- From the roadway to the water below is 876 feet.
- The bridge weighs 88 million pounds and is made from U.S. Cor Ten steel.
Once a year, we celebrate the massive achievement that is the bridge by jumping off of it. Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest festival, celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in October ever year. B.A.S.E. jumpers from around the world come to parachute from the span for six hours each year.