When the New River Gorge Bridge was completed on October 22, 1977, a travel challenge was solved. The bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across one of North America's oldest rivers to less than a minute. When it comes to road construction, mountains do pose a challenge. In the case of the New River Gorge Bridge, challenge was transformed into a work of structural art - the longest steel span in the western hemisphere and the second highest in the United States.
On the third Saturday of October, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce hosts "Bridge Day," the only day that visitors may walk across the bridge. The event lures hundreds of parachutists, cheered on by thousands of spectators, to float the 876-foot drop to the river below.
The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia. The bridge was chosen to represent the state on the commemorative quarter released by the U.S. Mint in 2006.