New River Gorge Bridge: World's Longest Steel Arch

by Clarence V. Knudsen, (F.ASCE), Dir. of Struct. Svcs.; Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Harrisburg, Pa.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 2, Pg. 53-56

Document Type: Feature article


The world's longest steel arch bridge, spanning the New River Gorge Bridge in the south central area of West Virginia, is scheduled to be completed in Sept. 1977. The main arch spans 1700 ft compared with a span of 1650 ft for the Bayonne, N.J. record-holding bridge. The deck of the bridge is 876 ft above the river, a height exceeded only by the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. The tremendous size of the bridge plus its remote location posed some challenging problems in both design and erection. This project also brings to mind some of the changes in bridge design —e.g. demise of riveting, extensive use of computer — that have occurred since the Bayonne Bridge was constructed in 1931.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Arch bridges | Steel bridges | Bridge decks | Rivers and streams | Scheduling | Span bridges | High-rise buildings | West Virginia | Colorado | United States

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