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.