We had a lovely visit at the New River Gorge Bridge today. We parked at the Visitor's Center and took the 250 steps down to the bridge overlook. It was pretty hazy but we enjoyed the view. The steps going back up weren't as fun but my grandson, Oliver, pulled me up. We then drove down a really windy road so that we could get a look from the river. The roads were one-way and very curvy. We had a special treat as we waited while a train with over 60 cars lumbered through. We filmed our "National Parks Expedition Challenge" Video from the small bridge.
The New River Gorge Bridge was built because the residents who lived on and near the mountain were having to drive 40 minutes, down windy roads, to get to the other side. In less than 3 years, in October 1977, the problem was solved and the drive took less than one minute. This steel arch bridge is 3,030 feet long over the New River Gorge. It has an arch of 1700 feet long, and is now the fourth longest single-span arch bridge in the United States. It also holds another record being one of the highest vehicular bridges in the world at 876 feet. Construction began on the bridge in June 1974, and was completed on October 22, 1977.
This is a great example of how a historical problem was solved using engineering. Stay tuned for our virtual field trip and STEM Challenge that will accompany it. Until then, check out "How Did They Build That Bridge" by Vicky Franchino and Seymour Simon's, "Bridges". We will be back in a few days with our adventures at the Indiana Sand Dunes National Parks.
Traveling Along, Dacia & Steve