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Contact: Dave Bieri, 304-465-2516
Glen Jean, West Virginia, September 11, 2014—Portions of the Rend Trail, formerly known as the Thurmond Minden Trail, will be closed effective immediately due to safety concerns. Federal highway engineers recently completed inspections on trail bridges throughout the park and discovered structural damage to one of the bridges on this popular hiking and biking trail. The damage occurred on the second bridge from the Minden side, 1.27 miles in from the Minden trailhead or 1.96 miles in from the Thurmond trailhead. The cribbing supporting the bridge has rotted and is no longer structurally stable. Engineers have stated that this bridge is no longer safe and can fail at any time.
The National Park Service and the staff of New River Gorge National River hold the safety of every visitor and employee as the top concern. Due to these safety concerns the bridge will be closed to all traffic including pedestrians and bicycles. The National Park Service will be placing barriers on either side of the bridge. Repairs will require consultation with an engineer and probably replacing the entire bridge. This closure may be in place for several years.
For more information about area National Park Service sites visit https://www.nps.gov/neri, check out the park Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps, or stop by any New River Gorge National River visitor center.