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Royal Gorge Bridge Highest Suspension Bridge In the United States
The Highest Suspension Bridge In the United States
Royal Gorge Bridge was first built in 1929 over a period of just six months for the purpose of being a tourist attraction. From 1929 until 2001 it was the highest suspension bridge in the world.
However in 2001 the Liuguanghe Bridge in the Hubei Province of China was completed and is now considered the highest suspension bridge in the world. Royal Gorge Bridge is now the 11th highest bridge in the world according to Bridgehunter.com.
Royal Gorge Bridge still remains the highest suspension bridge in the United States. It has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Colorado since its completion, the full cost of building it $350,000. In 1982/83 the Royal Gorge Bridge underwent major renovation at a cost of 2.8 million dollars. My how things changed.
This writer was there during that renovation period. The bridge was closed to vehicle traffic and people were only allowed to walk on the bridge. When I got close to the entrance of the bridge and looked down to the bottom of the canyon I could not bring myself to set foot on the bridge. Instead, I stood far enough back from the edge of the canyon to see it sufficiently to my own satisfaction.
Yes, I have a thing about heights, and that bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River. There was no charge for walking on the bridge when I was there back in 1983.
Had the bridge not been closed to vehicle traffic, my husband would have driven our car onto it before I realized just how high it was. Had that happened, I feel certain that even at my then youthful age I would have died of a heart attack on the spot. Once on the bridge the only way off is to keep going the full length – 938 feet.
Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge Nearly 1000 Feet Above the Arkansas River!
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Activities
Located southwest of Colorado Springs on Highway 50, the Royal Gorge Bridge is 18 feet wide and includes a wooden walkway on one side for brave souls who want to feel as if they are sky walking.
The bridge is surrounded by a 360-acre theme park that includes what is promoted as the “scariest skycoaster.” The world’s steepest incline railway, and one of the longest single-span aerial trams are also available for tourist’s enjoyment.
Due to be completed by the end of April of 2012 is the Soaring Eagle Zip Line, highest in the world. Bungee jumping, rafting, and helicopter rides are also offered in the area. For people who like a slower pace, there are mule rides. There is also a petting zoo and some less daring rides for young children.
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© 2012 C E Clark