New River Gorge Facts
The New River Gorge Bridge was designed by the Michael Baker Company under the direction of Chief Engineer Clarence V. Knudsen, and erected by U. S. Steel's American Bridge Division.
Most of the 22,000 tons of structural steel for the Bridge Project was fabricated at the American Bridge Division's Ambridge, Pa., plant.
All of the structural steel used for the New River Gorge Bridge is USS COR-TEN Steel, which oxides with age and gives the Bridge its dark russet color. More than 88 million pounds of steel and concrete were incorporated into the structure of the New River Gorge Bridge.
The New River Gorge Bridge took three years to complete and cost nearly 37 million dollars. Construction began on the Bridge in June of 1974, and was completed on October 22, 1977.
Because of the chosen arch design and the depth of the gorge, steel was moved into position by trolleys running on cables that spanned the gorge.
The New River Gorge bridge is 876 feet above the New River and is 3,030 feet in length. It is the second largest single span steel arch in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest vehicle carrying bridge in the United States.
West Virginia residents voted for the New River Gorge Bridge to be featured on their state quarter in 2005.