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New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 5, 2014 and June 5, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
US-19 (Mountaineer Expressway) Over New River
Fayetteville: Fayette County, West Virginia: United States
Structure Type
Metal 14 Panel Two-Hinged Braced Ribbed Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 6 Panel Bolt-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1977 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York and Engineer/Design: Michael Baker Jr. Inc.

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
1,700 Feet (518.2 Meters)
Structure Length
3,031 Feet (923.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
67.3 Feet (20.51 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 9 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View The National Register of Historic Places Nomination For For This Bridge

Please view the above National Register nomination form for a good, detailed discussion of the design of this bridge that is supplemented by some drawings at the end of the form. The form also explains why this bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Finally, the nomination form included a number of excellent photos showing the construction of this bridge, which are worth looking at.

Although under 50 years old when listed, the bridge was the longest arch span in the world when built, was notable its height, and was notable for linking previously remote areas of West Virginia. HistoricBridges.org normally does not list bridges built after 1970, but due to the National Register listing, made an exception to this rule.

Aside from its records in span length and height, one other unusual feature is the deck of the bridge. The distance between arch columns on this bridge is so great, that a deck truss span system is used to support the deck between arch columns. Moreover, the deck truss approach spans for this bridge maintain a similar design appearance as this configuration on the arch, the main difference being that instead of columns, the truss spans rest on bents which are not a part of the arch structure... yet visually they look just like the arch columns.

This bridge is also a tourist trap, with viewing areas, a gift shop, and even bridge climbing and walks that take place at certain times. The only tourist trap in West Virginia that is larger and more profitable is the SPEED TRAP in Summersville, about 20 miles north of the bridge on US-19, where a lowering of the speed limit unexpectedly occurs and is patrolled constantly by police with nothing else to do other than rake in the profit from unsuspecting drivers.

This bridge and the road it carries was essentially a replacement and realignment of the Fayette Station Bridge.


Photo Galleries and Videos: New River Gorge Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: New River Gorge Bridge

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