New River Gorge Bridge
When the New River Gorge Bridge was completed on October 22, 1977, a travel challenge was solved. The bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across one of North America's oldest rivers to less than a minute. When it comes to road construction, mountains do pose a challenge. In the case of the New River Gorge Bridge, challenge was transformed into a work of structural art - the longest steel span in the western hemisphere and the third highest in the United States.
The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia. The bridge was chosen to represent the state on the commemorative quarter released by the U.S. Mint in 2006. In 2013, the National Park Service listed the New River Gorge Bridge in the National Register of Historic Places as a significant historic resource.
The first official Bridge Day was celebrated in 1980 when two parachutists jumped from a plane onto the bridge. They were joined by three additional parachutists, and all five then jumped from the bridge into the gorge.Today, the event lures hundreds of BASE jumpers, cheered on by thousands of spectators. "BASE" stands for Building, Antenna (tower), Span (arch or bridge), and Earth (cliff or natural formation), the four categories of objects in which BASE jumpers jump from.
For more information, visit the Official Bridgeday website, or call the New River Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 927-0263.
NOTE: Pets, bicycles, carts, and strollers are not permitted on the bridge during Bridge Day. Coolers, packages, and large packs or satchels will not be permitted on the bridge for security reasons.
Did You Know?
One day each year, hundreds of BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth) jumpers come to New River Gorge to parachute from the New River Gorge Bridge.