The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Artist's rendering illustrating the two cableways used to transport structural steel for the New River Gorge Bridge
By early-1974, site preparation was underway and plans were being made to begin erecting two cableways on opposite sides of the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, WV. Heavy-duty steel cables were to be suspended from towers anchored to the ground on each side of the gorge. Then two trolleys would be mounted on the cables which would be used to some 22,000 tons of steel into place for the structure. This unique erection highline, or cableway system, with a 3,500-foot span, was then the largest ever used, consisting of two 50-ton capacity trolleys operating on four main steel cables, suspended from twin 330-foot towers erected in pairs on each side of the gorge. In all, some 22 miles of wire rope and heavy-duty steel cable were involved in the cableway system.
The first structural steel for the New River Gorge Bridge was erected on June 14, 1974 by the U. S. Steel's American Bridge Division. Using the special cableway hoisting system, ironworkers secured a 30-foot-high steel box section in place on a concrete foundation located on the north side of the New River Gorge.
The Baker Engineer, Vol. XXV, 1977, Special Edition prepared especially for New River Banking & Trust Co., Michael Baker Corp.
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