The History Of The New River Gorge Bridge
It started with the Fayette Station Road, originally called the Gentry Road, which was 1909. The bridge below the main arch bridge is the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge (often referred to as “the little bridge” by visitors. It was the first bridge for cars to cross the New River Gorge. At the time, that was the area’s engineering marvel.
In the 1960’s Corridor L, which is Route 19, began construction, and it had to cross the New River Gorge. The only question was how. The answer was to build what was then the largest arch bridge in the world. Construction began in 1974 and was completed 3 years later in 1977. It was opened to the public in October of that year.
The bridge is a structure of amazing statistics. 3030 feet long. 876 feet high. 70 feet wide. 88 million pounds of U.S. Cor-Ten steel and American cement. Opened and dedicated on October 22, 1977, the span has since become the symbol of West Virginia.