New River Gorge Bridge

Monday, 12th January 2009 by

The New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia is the highest road bridge in the Americas and (until Google updates their French imagery), is the tallest road bridge visible on Google Earth.

The bridge is a spectacular steel-arch construction which carries Highway 19 at a height of 267 metres over the New River. Completed in 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge was the highest road bridge in the world for the next 27 years, until it was finally surpassed in height by the Millau Viaduct in 2004.

The old bridge that it replaced is still visible way down at the bottom of the gorge. Locals apparently say that the new bridge cut the travel time from one side of the gorge to the other from 45 minutes, right down to 45 seconds.

The Street View car has paid the bridge a visit too, and the view on approach gives you an idea of just how massive a structure it is, spanning some 924 metres.

Halfway across there's a rather nice view, but only from one side unfortunately. Although Wikipedia reckons an average of more than 16,000 cars cross the bridge each day, these images were obviously taken in the very early morning, as there's hardly a soul to be seen.

What neither the satellite shots or the street view images show is how incredibly impressive this bridge looks from either side - so for that, we'll have to refer you to Flickr instead.

There's more on the New River Gorge Bridge at Wikipedia.

Thanks to SteveH and Loren.