Royal Gorge Bridge

The Royal Gorge Bridge near Cañon City, a small town about 150 km south of Denver in the State of Colorado, is one of the highest bridges in the world. The suspension bridge crossing the white water of the Arkansas River at a height of almost 321 meters. It represents mainly represents a tourist attraction and is not intended to motorized road traffic. She was from the time of its completion until 2001, the highest bridge in the world.

Only in 2003 they lost that title to the Beipanjiang Bridge (2003 ), a suspension bridge over the Beipan Jiang Zhenfeng, which in turn was surpassed in 2009 by the Siduhe Bridge.

Design data

  • Construction of the bridge began on 5 June 1929 and was completed in November of the same year.
  • The total length of the bridge is 384 m, the main span 268 m.
  • The five meter wide roadway consists of a steel structure with approximately 1,300 wooden planks should be replaced annually of which about 250.
  • The four steel lattice towers are 46 meters high and connected by two cables containing 2,100 steel wires. These are anchored at both ends in concrete bridge abutments.
  • The construction costs in 1929 amounted to $ 350,000. Would the bridge built today, you would have to spend $ 15 million for it.

The given through the city Cañon City as a tourist attraction in order -lane toll bridge was built in 1929 by Lon Piper and is now part of a 1.45 km ² large amusement parks. You can be on foot, by car crossing ( at walking pace ) or a free trolley bus. Through the spaces between the wooden planks can be seen at depths greater than 300 m sweep along the Arkansas.

Other attractions include a 45 ° steep funicular railway that brings down the tourists to the river bed, and a cable car that connects the visitor center located next to the bridge to the opposite side of the gorge. The Plaza Theatre is a film about the history of the region and the construction of the bridge is shown.

From Cañon City can catch with an open observation car of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad at Arkansas along the gorge and see the bridge from below.

Fire 2013

A forest fire in June 2013 destroyed all the buildings on the north side and many of the buildings on the south side of the bridge. The cable car, which was parked during the fire in one of the stations is burned out and plunged the wire rope into the ravine. The funicular also fell victim to the fire. 32 planks of the bridge were destroyed and some slightly damaged. The bridge itself has remained intact.

Historical Events

On 5 October 2003, at the Royal Gorge Bridge, a tragic accident occurred.

After the two jumper Jeb Corliss Base and Dwain Weston had jumped out of a plane, they tried over and glide through fly under the bridge. Both wore a so-called wingsuit.

Jeb Corliss flew under the bridge. Dwain Weston, who was to fly over the bridge, but a few meters was too deep and hit on the bridge. He was killed by the impact immediately.