FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — Bridge Day 2023 may have come and gone but the day after the event this year marks a very special day for the New River Gorge Bridge.

Sunday, October 22, 2023, marks the 46th anniversary of the New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge is the world’s fifth-longest single-arch bridge. Construction was completed on Oct. 22, 1977, and it was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

The bridge was originally built to make traveling across the Gorge safer and faster. According to the National Park Service, the New River Gorge Bridge allowed travelers to avoid navigating down the mountain roads to cross the New River. The construction project turned what was a 40-minute drive into less than a minute to cross the Gorge!

The NPS says that the bridge’s design comes from the challenge of creating a bridge that would be able to span the Gorge on the mountains. Along with being the fifth-longest single-arch bridge in the world, the New River Gorge Bridge is also the longest steel span in the Western Hemisphere and the third-highest bridge in the United States, according to the NPS.

The bridge has a height of 876 feet, a length of 3,030 feet, and weighs 88 million pounds. The arch’s length spans a total of 1,700 feet, the NPS says.

There is also only one day a year when pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge – the annual Bridge Day event!