West Virginia (Roads - US 19) - New River Gorge Bridge/Bridge Day 2009

New River Gorge Bridge and Bridge Day 10/17/09

For one day a year, traffic can park on US 19 (or on the grass) and people walk down the shoulder instead of over the graceful pedestrian bridge. I missed the chili cookoff, so I guess I'll have to come back.

Attractions include woodcarving, people-watching, and, naturally, the bridge. All the people have to stay on the NB side of the bridge so that official and emergency vehicles have access on the other side.

The bridge.

And from the north side, but not on Bridge Day, courtesy Lou Corsaro.

The project section marker before the start of the bridge matches the plaque on the bridge itself. As you see, it dates to 1973. The corresponding marker in the SB direction shows the next section down as 55 instead of 52, but still project #482.

Looking east along the New River. Bridge Day can be enjoyed from the water or by gliding from the air.

A secondary road (CR 82) winds all the way down the gorge to a crossing at the bottom. Then there's some more scenery.

Darker, foggier scenery from the west side of the bridge. Did I mention it was very damp out? And cold?

Right around the middle of the bridge, there appears to be quite a commotion...

BASE jumping!

I walk back south off the bridge toward the coolest small town to warm my feet in the car. People peer off the side to wager on the fate of the BASE jumpers, while I look inward and downward at a station marker showing that about a mile was added to US 19 by the new bridge (338+98.76 ahead, 344+29.52 back).

Courtesy Lou Corsaro, down on former US 19, which follows "Car 82." (That would just be "82," as there's no such thing as a "Car" route, but I give WVDOH credit for trying.)

Bonus footage from the New River Gorge National Park welcome center, also from Lou.

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