October 22, 1977: New River Gorge Bridge Dedicated

Oct 22, 2014

The New River Gorge Bridge was dedicated in Fayette County before a crowd of 30,000 on this day in 1977. Throughout history, transportation across the rugged gorge has been a challenge. Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world. And, at 876 feet above the New River, it was the highest automobile bridge in the world. Today, it is still the longest steel span in the Western Hemisphere and the third highest in the United States.

The Fayette County bridge has become one of West Virginia’s most recognizable landmarks and was featured on the state quarter. Most significantly, though, it reduced the driving time across the gorge, making travel easier and turning the region’s whitewater-rafting business into a multimillion-dollar industry.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road