The New River Gorge Bridge was built to boost the state and local economy and improve transportation. Once the bridge opened to the public, it cut travel time from one side of the gorge to the other from forty five minutes to forty five seconds. On August 14, 2013, the New River Gorge Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite not yet being fifty years old, it was listed for its impact on local transportation and its engineering significance.
Since the creation of the bridge and the establishment of the New River Gorge National River, it has drawn tens of thousands of tourists to the area to appreciate its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. A steel catwalk runs the full length of the bridge under the roadway which is open to the public for "Bridge Walk” tours. There is also the Bridge Day festival, which is held the third Saturday of every October during which demonstrations of rappelling, ascending, and BASE jumping take place.
Read Senator Byrd's speech about the New River Gorge Bridge delivered on May 13, 1976:
Kyle Staubs is a student intern Archives Assistant at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.
The Byrd Center advances representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens.
Copyright © Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education