The New River Gorge Bridge was designed by the Michael Baker Company, under the direction of Chief Engineer Clarence V. Knudsen, and erected by U. S. Steel's American Bridge Division. Most of the 22,000 tons of structural steel for the Bridge Project was fabricated at the American Bridge Division's Ambridge, Pa., plant. All of the structural steel used for the Bridge is USS COR-TEN Steel, which oxides with age and gives the Bridge its dark russet color.
Construction began on the Bridge in June of 1974, and was completed on October 22, 1977. The New River Gorge Bridge took three years to complete and cost nearly 37 million dollars. Because of the chosen arch design and the depth of the gorge, steel was moved into position by trolleys running on cables that spanned the gorge. More than 88 million pounds of steel and concrete were incorporated.
The bridge is 876 feet above the New River and is 3,030 feet in length. It is the largest single span steel arch in the western hemisphere, and the highest vehicle carrying bridge in the United States.
West Virginia State Quarter
West Virginia residents voted for the New River Gorge Bridge to be featured on their state quarter in 2005. The bridge has become as much of an icon of West Virginia as our beloved mountains and rivers. The New River Gorge Bridge is a big part of what makes West Virginia "Wild and Wonderful".
NRG Bridge Commemorative Stamp
The New River Gorge Bridge is featured in a USPS Priority Mail stamp that was released in April 2011. The stamp was designed by Carl T. Herrman and features a digital illustration by Dan Cosgrove, depicting the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia near sunset.