The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


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The New River Gorge Bridge, following its completion in Fall of 1977

Steel erection of the New River Gorge Bridge was completed on November 1, 1976, marking another milestone in the construction of the landmark structure across the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, WV. Preliminary site work had begun on the bridge in late-1973. Following paving and other finishing touches, the West Virginia Department of Highways officially planned to open the bridge the following fall. The dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge took place on October 22, 1977.

A major link in West Virginia's Appalachian Corridor "L" expressway system, the New River Gorge Bridge connected the then recently completed portion of U. S. Route 19 (US-19) which would ultimately provide the residents and travelers of the area with direct access to Interstates 77 and 79 at Beckley and Sutton.

The bridge's impressive main arch span stretches 1,700 feet across the New River Gorge, and its deck towers 865-feet above the New River. The bridge has enough concrete in its foundation and abutments to pave pave 1.75 miles of two-lane concrete highway and the bridge's 22,000 tons of structural steel are equal to production of nearly 15,000 mid-sized automobiles.

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